Watch Penn Relays, Drake Relays on NBC Sports

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Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser and 100m hurdles world-record holder Kendra Harrison headline the Drake Relays, which along with the Penn Relays air live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Friday
Penn Relays: 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK

Saturday
Penn Relays: 12:30-3 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK
Drake Relays: 3-5 p.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold | STREAM LINK

The U.S. roster for the 125th Penn Relays includes Olympian Mike Rodgers and national 800m silver medalist Raevyn Rogers. They compete Saturday in USA vs. the World races, which include 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays.

At Drake, world champion Kori Carter duels with Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer in the 400m hurdles (3:22 p.m. ET). Harrison then takes on Rio Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali in the 100m hurdles (3:42). The men’s 110m hurdles (3:54) features Olympic champ Omar McLeod from Jamaica and Devon Allen, the former University of Oregon wide receiver who finished fifth in Rio.

Crouser stars in the field events along with Olympic pole vault medalists Sam Kendricks and Sandi Morris.

Americans are tuning up for the USATF Outdoor Championships in Des Moines in July, a qualifier for the world championships in Doha in five months.

U.S. Women’s Penn Relays Pool
Kendall Baisden
Deonca Bookman
Aaliyah Brown
Brittany Brown
Destinee Brown
Dezerea Bryant
Destiny Carter
Kendra Chambers
Gabrielle Farquharson
Felecia Majors
Robin Reynolds
Raevyn Rogers
Asha Ruth
Brionna Thomas
Kaylin Whitney

U.S. Men’s Penn Relays Pool
Cameron Burrell
Marcus Chambers
Michael Cherry
Kenzo Cotton
Chris Giesting
Najee Glass
Cordero Gray
Je’Von Hutchinson
My’lik Kerley
DeShawn Marshall
Remontay McClain
Sean McLean
Manteo Mitchell
Champ Page
Bryce Robinson
Mike Rodgers
Brycen Spratling
Jamiel Trimble
Marqueze Washington
Dontavious Wright
Isiah Young

Penn Relays Schedule (p.m. ET)
Men’s 4x100m — 12:37
Women’s 4x100m — 12:47
Men’s 4x400m — 1:32
Women’s 4x400m — 1:41
Women’s Sprint Medley — 2:26
Men’s Sprint Medley — 2:35

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Chicago Marathon features Emily Sisson’s return, Conner Mantz’s debut, live on Peacock

Emily Sisson
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At Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, Emily Sisson makes her return, nearly three years after Olympic Trials disappointment. Conner Mantz makes one of the most anticipated U.S. men’s debuts in 26.2-mile racing.

It is not the norm, but an American will be one of the spotlight runners in both the men’s and women’s elite races at a major marathon. Peacock airs live coverage at 8 a.m. ET.

Sisson, 30, starts her first mass marathon since dropping out of the Olympic Trials on Feb. 29, 2020, her legs “destroyed” on the hilly Atlanta course where she started as arguably the favorite. She ran the virtual New York City Marathon later in 2020, but that was solo (and not in New York City). Her 2:38:00 isn’t recorded in her official results on her World Athletics bio.

Since, Sisson won the Olympic Trials 10,000m on the track and was the top American in Tokyo in 10th place. She moved back to the roads, winning national titles at 15km and the half marathon and breaking the American record in the latter.

Sisson vaulted into the elite group of U.S. female marathoners in 2019, when she clocked the second-fastest debut marathon in American history, a 2:23:08 on a windy day in London, where the early pace was slow.

At the time, it was the 12th-best U.S. performance all-time. In the last two years, Keira D’Amato, 37, and Sara Hall, 39, combined to run seven faster marathons. At Chicago, a flat course that produced a world record three years ago, Sisson can answer them and perhaps get close to D’Amato’s American record 2:19:12.

“I’m hoping sub-2:20,” coach Ray Treacy said, according to LetsRun.com. “With the [super] shoes and the training behind her, I would think that’s [worth] at least three minutes.”

It is less likely that Sisson can challenge for the win on Sunday given the presence of Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 World champion and defending champion in the Windy City. The 28-year-old mom is the fifth-fastest woman in history with a personal best of 2:17:08. And Ethiopian Ruti Aga, a podium finisher in Berlin, New York City and Tokyo with a best time of 2:18:34, though she has one marathon finish since the pandemic (a seventh place).

Like Sisson, Mantz has shown strong recent road racing form. The American men’s debut marathon record of 2:07:56 (Leonard Korir) is in play. If he can break that, Mantz will be among the five fastest U.S. marathoners in history.

Rarely has a U.S. male distance runner as accomplished as Mantz moved up to the marathon at such a young age (25). At BYU, he won NCAA cross-country titles in 2020 and 2021 and placed fifth in the Olympic Trials 10,000m, then turned pro and won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships last December.

“If everything goes as planned, I think sub-2:08 is realistic,” Mantz said in a Citius Mag video interview last month. “If everything goes perfect on the day, I think a sub-2:07, that’s a big stretch goal.”

The men’s field doesn’t have the singular star power of Chepngetich, but a large group of East Africans with personal bests around 2:05. The most notable: defending champion Seifu Tura of Ethiopia and 2021 Boston Marathon winner Benson Kipruto of Kenya.

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Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

Alpine Skiing Combined
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Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

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