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Record-setting relay

Folsom women help U.S. team win gold
By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Amanda Scotti and Liz Palmer entered the 2011 World Masters Track and Field Championships with high hopes of earning medals for the United States. After learning that they had both qualified for the women’s 4x100-meter relay team, the two were ecstatic at a chance to bring home some hardware. Scotti and Palmer, along with Kathleen Shook and Joy Upshaw, represented the U. S. in the women’s 50-54-year-old 4x100-meter relay and brought home the gold medal in an American record time of 51.88 seconds, shattering the previous record of 53.39. “We were pretty pumped,” Palmer said about earning the gold and setting the record. “We were very close to the world record of 51.50.” Scotti added, “It was so exciting; I was jumping up and down. I was pleased that I got to handoff to Liz.” Scotti and Palmer have run on relay teams before and in each one, Scotti passed the baton to Palmer. That combination got the U.S. team off to a good start and from there Shook and Upshall finished the final two legs of the relay. On July 9, Palmer came within a quarter of second of claiming the gold medal in the 100 behind her teammate Upshaw with a 13.09 showing. Although Palmer wasn’t at 100 percent with slight Achilles tendonitis, she was able to walk away with the silver medal. “I was really excited to get the silver,” she said. “Even though I wasn’t at my best, it was still a good run for me.” Palmer also earned the silver medal in the 80-meter hurdles, finishing in 12.46 seconds. Scotti did not fair as well as she had planned on in her two events leading up to Sunday’s relay race. On July 8, she qualified for the 100-meter semifinals the following day before exiting with a 14.17 placement. Knee problems forced Scotti to make a difficult decision on what she would do about the 200-meter dash, which she was penciled in to run on July 12. “I wasn’t terribly happy with my 100 time. I’ve run a lot faster,” said Scotti, who had originally made it a goal to have good enough 100 times to earn a spot on the relay team. “It was a very hard decision to drop out of the 200 because I love that event but I did what I had to do to get on the relay team. During the Masters, you’re always holding your breath against your injuries.” In the midst of all the competition, both women are enjoying everything that comes along with the Masters events. “It’s been amazing,” said Scotti, who is also the sprinters’ coach at Vista del Lago High. “I’ve met so many great people from all different countries. The competition is staggering and it really is world class. “It’s been really fun meeting people from all over the world,” said Palmer, who coaches the hurdlers at Folsom High. “I’ve had a great time and hopefully my Achilles won’t be too much of a wild card and we can take that gold medal in the relays.”