2014 Marks 120th Penn Relays

On April 24 through 26, as the Penn Relays celebrated its 120th year, more than 18,000 athletes from more than 60 countries took to Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus to compete in 425 events.

This year's Penn Relays featured more than 17,000 track and field athletes from the junior high, high school, college, and professional levels from across the nation and around the globe.

High school, college, and professional athletes from around the world compete in the annual event. The 120th Penn Relays drew athletes from 252 colleges and 1,200 high schools, among them 33 high schools from Jamaica.

Officially known as The Penn Relay Carnival, Penn Relays is the oldest organized relay competition and the largest amateur track meet in the United States. Nearly 5,000 people attended the first annual Penn Relays in 1895. This year, the Penn campus and its many vendors welcomed more than 100,000 visitors over three days.

Penn Relays competitions include the javelin throw, discus throw, hurdles, distance medleys, pole vault, long jump, and the high jump. The most popular events may be the USA vs. the World competitions, which pit teams of professional American track stars against the best international runners in six different relay races.

On the first day of the 120th Penn Relays, four Quakers and a relay posted top-five all-time marks for the University of Pennsylvania.

Over the years, track legends such as Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Carl Lewis, Justin Gatlin, Marion Jones, Allyson Felix, and Sanya Richards have competed in the Penn Relays.

  • Text by Amanda Mott
  • Photos by Scott Spitzer & Charles Murphy