Hoosiers Travel to Penn Relays
April 22, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana track & field team will compete this week in one of the most famous track meets of the year, with over 22,000 athletes annually and crowds of over 25,000 on each day, the 120th running of the Penn Relays April 24-26 in Philadelphia.
The Hoosiers have had success historically at the Penn Relays, winning 13 Championship of America relay races.
Last year at the Penn Relays IU alum Derek Drouin won his third high jump title at broke a 37-year old facility record held by two-time Olympic medalist and three-time world record holder Dwight Stones.
This year’s edition of the Hoosiers will compete in several field events, running events and relay races. Freshman Tre’Tez Kinnaiard, who was an All-American on the Hoosiers indoor distance medley relay team ran 1:47.99 at the Kentucky Relays last weekend, the fourth fastest time in school history and fastest time for an IU runner in the last 26 years. Kinnaird will run on the Hoosiers 4X800-meter relay and distance medley relay.
The Indiana men’s distance medley relay will be the same group that captured All-America honors with a third-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Hoosiers will also try to go after the school record in the 4X800-meter relay. Kinnaird will be teamed up with sophomore Jordan Gornall and Rorey Hunter, who were also on the IU DMR at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Hunter won the mile run at the Kentucky Relays in 4:00.97, the sixth fastest time in school history.
Senior Kelsie Ahbe will compete in the pole vault. Ahbe won the event at the Border Battle with a track record and second best mark in school history of 4.32m (14-2). Senior Kyla Buckley will compete in the shot put and holds the fifth best mark in the NCAA this season of 17.08m.
The first Penn Relays was a smash success. Held on April 21, 1895, in conjunction with the University’s Spring Handicap Track and Field Games, the meet, now the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the country, was a greater success than hoped for, drawing an attendance of approximately 5,000, the largest track and field crowd to that time in Philadelphia. At the dawn of the 20th century, track and field in the United States was centered around the three large eastern cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia, so it is evident that in addition to being the largest track crowd in Philadelphia, it was immediately one of the largest ever in America.
This year there will be more than 22,000 entries, about half of whom will be high schoolers, and the three-day attendance is likely to top 110,000 for the third year in a row. Saturday attendance has averaged 48,000 for the last six years, and makes the meet the best-attended track event in the United States each year, and one of the best attended in the world.
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