The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Track teams to compete in Penn Relays

    MSU track and field teams started competition Thursday at the 115th running of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia at Franklin Field. ESPN2 will air the event nationally Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m.
    “The Penn Relays is a national event that is a huge pressure situation that our kids live for,” head coach Al Schmidt said.
    The atmosphere will be electric and indescribable with a capacity crowd of an expected 55,000, assistant coach Bryan Fetzer said.
    “The Penn Relays is the closest thing track and field has to an SEC football game,” he said. “It is one of those sporting events as a sports writer or a sports fan that everyone should be able to experience once in their lifetime.”
    Schmidt said a major goal of the meet is to obtain national-qualifying times, something the Bulldogs have done in the past.
    “They stepped up to it last year; I would be very disappointed if they did not this year,” Fetzer said.
    In 2006, MSU won the 4×400-meter relay title and is expected to contend for the championship again this season. The Bulldog sprinters will compete in the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400-meter relays.
    Other than relays, senior Robert Scribner will compete in the 5,000-meter run, junior Wendy Copeland will compete in the championship section of the long jump and sophomore Matthew Cameron will compete in the Olympic development 1500-meter run.
    Not only is the event a track meet for professional, college and high school athletes, but it is also full of fanfare and food.
    The main event Saturday will be the USA versus the World showcase where olympic greats Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards will compete. In all, over 60 countries will be represented at the event.
    The event is a huge recruiting tool since more people compete in this event than in the Olympics. Over 22,000 entrants compete in the event annually. The 35-hour meet of over 400 races averages one event every five minutes.
    Many of the athletes compete in front of friends and family, Fetzer said.
    “[The event] is called the Penn Relays Carnival, and it is called that for a reason,” Fetzer said. “It is so much more than just a track meet.”
    Junior Dwight Mullings said he feels ready to compete this year because of his experience. He said he knows that this is the biggest meet as far attendance goes.
    “I have been to this meet like eight times, so this is no kid’s play for me,” he said. “I am used to this kind of environment running.”
    Cameron said he is excited about running in Philadelphia in front of the big crowd.
    “You are in the big city and then it is a really cool track,” he said. “There are so many people coming to watch.”
    MSU is also sending several track and field athletes to participate in the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Classic in Hattiesburg, which begins at 8 a.m. Saturday.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    Track teams to compete in Penn Relays