On April 23 and 24, two groups of Collegiate track athletes set out on the long bus ride to Pennsylvania to compete in the Penn Relays. This is an amazing experience for all who have the opportunity to participate. It’s pretty much track and field heaven.
Here is what Sumner Brinkley had to say about her experience:
The Penn relays is the longest running track meet in the country. Started in 1895 and held at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania, this track meet brings together runners from high schools, colleges, and national teams from all over America and countries like Jamaica. I felt so lucky to have been able to compete with these athletes, and it was amazing to get the chance to simply watch the thousands of runners who train all year for this event. Of course watching records being broken, seeing college teams, and visiting the huge Nike store was fantastic, but I also marveled at the efficiency of how it was run. The officials don’t allow more than about 10 seconds between the end of one race and the start of the next. I wondered how that was possible until it was our turn to check in to our race and suddenly we were being ushered into the “Panic Zone,” where all of the upcoming heats waited, and yelled at by many officials with megaphones to stand in line. And then before you even have time to worry about the thousands of people watching, you are running onto the track to take your places. After my 13 seconds of running went by like a blur, and before I was briskly herded off of the track, I stared up at the packed stadium and heard the roaring of the crowd and wished I could run it again. I think that the reason that Collegiate sends runner every couple of years to Penn is not to win, but more for the experience. You feel the atmosphere of a college track meet, you get to spend time with your own team, and it motivates you in practice when you get home. Being a part of a relay team for Penn serves as a reward for all of the exhausting practices of hills, ladders, and weight rooms.