A rite of spring: the Penn Relay Carnival

Penn Relays

Scott Spitzer

The 119th running of the Penn Relay Carnival kicks off on Thursday, April 25, at Franklin Field. Around 18,000 athletes are expected to compete.

The 119th Penn Relay Carnival is coming to Penn’s campus, and faculty, students, and staff are invited to Franklin Field to cheer on athletes as they strive to beat the competition.

Scheduled for April 25-27, the Penn Relays features high school, collegiate, and professional track and field athletes from across the world. Dave Johnson, director of the Relays, expects about 18,000 athletes to compete.

Held for the first time in 1895, the Relays are the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, and will be the largest international sporting competition held in the country this year.

With a valid PennCard, members of the Penn community may attend events on Thursday and Friday at no charge. Penn students can register for a limited number of free tickets to Saturday’s competition by emailing tickets@pobox.upenn.edu.

Students will be able to pick up the tickets at Weightman Hall on Saturday with their PennCard. There is no staff or faculty discount on Saturday; general admission tickets for the day start at $30.

Attendees will have a plethora of events to capture their attention, including the hammer throw, hurdles, and the high jump.

“As always, among the most popular events are Saturday’s USA versus the World competitions,” says Johnson, in which the best in the country and the world race for the win in six different relay races.

Malik

Steve Minicola

Penn’s men’s track and field members Maalik Reynolds (pictured) and Sam Mattis will compete in the high jump and discus, respectively.

Several Quaker stars will be making appearances in the finals all three days, including men’s team members Maalik Reynolds in the high jump and Sam Mattis in the discus. Tony Tenisci, head coach of the women’s team, will serve as an honorary Penn Relays official this year.

Track fans can make sure they don’t miss a favorite race by searching the online schedule by day, level, team, state, region, or college conference. And those who can’t make it to campus can tune in on the web for live coverage of the Relays by purchasing a viewing pass for Penn Relays TV.

But there’s still nothing like being trackside, says Johnson, who is hoping the next week brings “bright sunshine and nice warm weather.”

For more information about the meet, or to purchase tickets to Saturday’s events, visit the Penn Relay Carnival website.

Originally published on April 18, 2013