US Versus World showdowns highlight Penn Relays

USA's Natasha Hastings, pictured at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, will be leading the Americans in the 4X400 relay at the 123rd Penn Relays

A stellar lineup featuring three champions from last weekend's World Relays and two more Rio Olympic winners will lead the United States against global rivals at Saturday's 123rd Penn Relays.

Spotlight events at the meeting at Philadelphia's Franklin Field, which opened in 1895, feature the USA Versus the World in men's and women's 4x100, 4x400 and sprint medley relays.

Natasha Hastings, who won her second 4x400 Olympic gold at Rio, ran the anchor leg for a triumphant US women's 4x400 World Relays squad last weekend at Nassau and leads the Americans in her specialty.

LeShon Collins, who ran the US opening leg in a 4x100 victory in the Bahamas, and Casimir Loxsom, who helped the Americans take the 4x800 at Nassau, will also race in Penn Relays events, as will Mike Berry, a member of the 2011 world 4x400 champion US relay.

Also in the mix from the US lineup in Nassau are Rio Olympic 4x100m gold medalists English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun.

Jamaican squads will compete against the Americans in all six events, but their lineup lacks many of the top runners who competed at Nassau, including 2011 world 100m champion Yohan Blake, 2012 London Olympic 200m bronze medalist Warren Weir and Rio Olympic 4x100 champions Nickel Ashmeade and Kemar Bailey-Cole.

Jamaica will send reigning Olympic 100 and 200 women's champion Elaine Thompson, who ran for the 4x200 champions at the World Relays.

The British Virgin Islands will send women's 4x100 and sprint medley squads while Bahamas offers two 4x400 relays and a sprint medley squad.

Haiti, Guyana and the Dominican Republic offer men's 4x100 and men's sprint relays with Nigeria entered in the women's 4x400 and men's sprint and Botswana contesting both 4x400 relays.

American squads won five of last year's six races.