Penn Relay’s honor Hall’s ’86 relay team
The former Seton Hall University track and field program was honored this past weekend when the 1986 Penn Relay sprint medley relay championship team was inducted into the Penn Relay Wall of Fame at The Palestra in Philadelphia, Pa.
Andrew Valmon, David Jones, Baron Chambliss and Akanni Gbadamosi defeated a relay squad from the University of Texas when Gbadamosi slipped past Texas’ Pablo Squella for a first place finish back in 1986, setting a meet record of 3:13:56 that stood for eight years.
The Texas team that the Pirates defeated was also an inductee at the evening’s ceremonies, further legitimizing Seton Hall’s record-breaking victory.
In that year’s games, Seton Hall was the final team to qualify for the sprint medley relays, which led the team’s coach John Moon to believe they had a realistic chance to finish in second or third place, mostly due to Texas being such a powerful team.
Gbadamosi struggled in the preliminary rounds, but wound up taking a victory in the third leg of the race. Moon had a strong feeling he would turn his game around for the finals.
“I just knew that based on what (Gbadamosi) did the night before, that he was going to run the same way,” Moon said in an interview on the Seton Hall Athletics website. “He said that he just got excited and that the crowd was yelling. That race was so exciting, just each step, because we were behind and were able to win it with a lunge at the tape.”
In addition to Gbadamosi, Valmon and Chambliss were also NCAA All-Americans and finished fifth in the 1985 4×400-relay. Valmon, who was inducted into the Seton Hall University Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, is currently the head coach of the men and women’s track and field teams at the University of Maryland and will serve as the head coach of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
John Lopiano can be reached at email@example.com.