This weekend The University of Pennsylvania hosted the 120th annual track and field carnival, The Penn Relays. The Penn relays are series of local, national ,and international track and field events that take place over a three day period at Penn’s Franklin Field.
The stands of Franklin field were pack with fans. There were Jamaican high school and professional athletes competing in the event, and their were many cheering fans sporting Jamaican colors green and yellow.
All kinds of athletes compete in this track meet. From local high school runners to world class olympians. Many of the events are relay races, such as the 4×100 meters, 4×200 meters, 4×400 meters, 4×800 meters, 4x one mile and sprint and distance medley relays. There are also individual races, and field events such as pole vault, triple jump, long jump, high jump discus, shot put and javelin.
Many famous athletes have competed in the Penn Relays, such as Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix. The 2014 Penn Relays marked the fiftieth anniversary of Jamaican High schools competing in the Relays, they have been competing their since.
History was made at the 2014 Penn Relays. Many meet records were broken. The University of Texas broke the Penn Relays college women’s 4×400 meter record with a time of 3:25.05. Keturah Orji broke the women’s triple jump record with a 43-10.5. Andrew Hunter broke the Penn Relays and U.S. high school sophomore record in the 3,000 meters in 8:16.31, and Thomas Awad ran a 3:58.34 in the men’s Olympic Development Mile, making him the second student from University of Penn to run a sub four minute mile.
High schools and colleges from all over competed in the relays. During the fiftieth anniversary of Jamaican high schools first competing, four Jamaican high schools won relay events, Jamaica college in the boys 4×100 in 39.72, St. Jago in the boys 4×400 in 3:11.73, Calabar in the boys 4×800 in 7:37.36, and Edwin Allen in the girls 4×100 in 44.70 and in the girls 4×400 in 3:34.76. The University of Oregon mens team, one of the U.S’s best college running teams won both the 4xmile in 16:09.67 and the distance medley relay in 9:25.40.
Local schools from Pennsylvania also did well. Villanova won four relay events, the women’s 4×800 in 8:21.49, the women’s 4×1500 in 17:16.52, the women’s distance medley relay in 10:57.35, and the men’s 4×800 in 7:16.58. Local high schools also did well, West Chester Henderson won the high school boys distance medley relay in 10:03.77.
The Penn Relays also feature international competition in the U.S.A vs. the World Relays. The U.S.A won four of the six events, the men’s 4×100 in 38.57, the men’s distance medley relay in 9:28.27, the women’s 4×400 in 3:25.62, and the women’s sprint medley relay in 3:27.94.
The Penn Relays is a big exciting track meet, where athletes from around the world compete. It is also an historic event of The University of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia.
Link to Penn Relays results and information
Franklin field, courtesy of runnerspace.com