Penn Relays

Penn Relays
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Penn Relays, held 125 straight years, canceled due to coronavirus

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The Penn Relays, which has been contested uninterrupted every year since 1895, has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Organizers hope that the meet, originally scheduled for April 23-25 and normally aired on NBC Sports, can be substituted for a one-day event in late May or early June.

“Based on the current novel coronavirus pandemic, we cannot host an event in late April without putting our participants, spectators, officials, volunteers, and staff at risk,” Penn athletic director Dr. M. Grace Calhoun said in a press release. “The University of Pennsylvania has hosted the Penn Relays for 125 consecutive years through the World Wars and other world-wide health issues. This spirit of perseverance and resiliency will continue as we plan for a track meet later in the year when the health and safety of our community is more certain.”

The Penn Relays have in the past gathered some of the U.S. and Jamaica’s top sprinters before the international outdoor track season begins in earnest. Usain BoltAllyson Felix and Michael Johnson have been among the headliners for a meet that also includes top high school and college athletes at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

The Diamond League season is scheduled to start on April 17 in Doha. The second and third meets are in China on May 9 (to be determined location) and May 16 (Shanghai). A spokesperson for the Shanghai meet said in an email Thursday that there would be an update on its status by the beginning of this week.

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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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Justin Gatlin, U.S. win at Penn Relays

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Justin Gatlin headlined a U.S. team that won the 4x100m on Saturday at the Penn Relays, the oldest annual outdoor track and field meet in the U.S.

Gatlin, who won the 2017 World 100m title in Usain Bolt‘s last individual race, ran the second leg to widen a lead over Jamaica at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Gatlin’s quartet — with Lashon CollinsTevin Hester and Justin Walker — clocked 38.39 seconds and easily prevailed by .33 over another U.S team that included 2012 Olympian and former NFL player Jeff Demps.

Full results are here.

Gatlin, 36, is expected to race the 100m at a Diamond League meet in Shanghai on May 12. World 100m silver medalist Christian Coleman and Olympic 100m bronze medalist Andre De Grasse are also entered in the meet.

Jamaica, with two-time Olympian Nesta Carter leading off, finished .78 behind for third place on Saturday. In 2016, the 32-year-old Carter was retroactively banned from the Beijing Olympics after one of his 2008 drug-test samples came back positive for a banned stimulant in a retest.

That meant Carter and the Jamaican 4x100m team was stripped of gold medals, which brought Bolt’s total down to eight Olympic golds overall. Carter appealed to get the medals back. No verdict has been announced.

Jamaica held off a U.S. quartet by .04 in the women’s 4x100m, clocking 43.14.

The Jamaican quartet included three-time Olympic medalist Kerron Stewart, while the U.S. had Aaliyah Brown, who led off the Americans’ world champion team last summer, and Kimberlyn Duncan, who was sixth in the 200m at the 2017 Worlds.

The U.S. swept the 4x400m and sprint medley relays.

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