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Track & Field: The 126th Running of the Penn Relays Returns This Thursday

By PSD Staff & Kathy Leister , 04/26/22, 8:15PM EDT


Photos/Videos by Kathy Leister & Patty Morgan

PHILADELPHIA – The event schedule is set and the weather is slated to be beautiful – what more can you ask for- for the return of the Penn Relays.

Starting this Thursday at 9 a.m. with the High School Girls’ 4x800 (small schools) event, the 126th running of the Penn Relays will kick-off after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

On Friday afternoon, local phenom Gary Martin, a senior at Archbishop Wood High School will compete in the High School Boys’ Mile Run Championship, presented by Toyota, at 4:20 p.m. Martin, who has committed to the University of Virginia, has recently clocked a 4:00.95 mile, breaking his own all-time PA state record, and has the opportunity to make history if breaking the 4-minute mark this weekend, a milestone only 13 other high school students have achieved. 

The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States. Each year, historic Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania draws crowds of up to 100,000 to watch some of the world’s top track and field athletes compete. There is nearly 200 colleges/universities that will be competing, as well as hundreds of high school athletes all across the country and the Caribbean Islands. Some of the top Olympic athletes will be in attendance as well, including Ajee Wilson, Devon Allen, Athing Mu, Allyson Felix, Omar McLeod, Mason Ferlic, Hunter Woodhall, Natoya Goule, and many more. 

This past Thursday, a press conference was held to officially kick-off this weekend’s events, which featured Scott Ward, executive director of the Penn Relays and Steve Dolan, the Frank Dolson Director of the Penn Relays. There were also two special guests who will be competing in this weekend’s festivities, Ajee Wilson and Devon Allen. Wilson, who is a New Jersey born and Philadelphia based 2x Olympian, holds the American 800m record. Wilson will be racing in the 600m Olympic Development race at the Penn Relays on Saturday at approximately 3:47 p.m. Allen, a 2x U.S. Olympian and 4x U.S. champion in the 110m hurdles, was recently signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Allen will be racing against Jamaica’s Omar McLeod in the 110m hurdles on Saturday at 2:17 p.m.

Penn Relays 2019 (Photo by Patty Morgan)

Penn Relays 2019 (Photo by Patty Morgan)

See videos below from the Penn Relays Press Conference on April 21:

Opening Press Remarks from Scott Ward, executive director of the Penn Relays - VIDEO BY KATHY LEISTER

Steve Dolan, head coach of UPenn track & Field, addresses notable Penn Athletes to watch at the Penn Relays - Video by Kathy Leister


Ajee Wilson reflects on her time competing at the penn relays and offers words of advice for Devon Allen during Saturday’s race: