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Panthers Look to Showcase Skills at the Prestigious Penn Relays

Brycen Spratling set to compete in the men's relay events at Penn.

Brycen Spratling set to compete in the men's relay events at Penn.

April 24, 2014

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PHILADELPHIA
- In the world of track and field, the Penn Relays is, "the granddaddy of them all." The 120th running of the Penn Relay Carnival will take place Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26 on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania at the infamous Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

The University of Pittsburgh track and field team will join more than 20,000 runners from all around the world to compete in this historic meet. This year, the Penn Relays have even more significance, as the Panthers will receive several honors for their past and present team success.

The 1939 Pitt men's 880-yard relay team of Frank Ohl, Al Ferrara, Larry Tregoning and John Woodruff will be recognized for setting an event record of 1:25.90. The 880-yard relay was just one of four record-breaking relay championships Pitt won that year - a feat which had not yet been achieved until the Panthers' efforts that year. Olympian John Woodruff was the anchor for all four of the relays during the 1939 competition. Recognition for these four former student-athletes comes this weekend in a season that marks the 75th anniversary Pitt's accomplishments. 

Head Coach Alonzo Webb will also be acknowledged this weekend, as he will serve as one of five honorary referees represented at the meet. Individuals selected to be honorary referees are noted for their outstanding contributions to the sport of track and field.  Past honorees have included Bill Cosby and Pitt's own Herb Douglas.  

"The Penn Relays gives our athletes the chance to really showcase their skills especially in front of a lot of high school athletes, coaches and parents who will be there watching to see how the top teams perform," Webb said. "It's also one of the biggest relay events in the world, and our goal is to qualify for the Championship of America finals in each of the relays we run this weekend. In the past, we have been able to accomplish that goal on both men's and women's side. The top eight will advance the finals, and its great way to highlight your team in front of the crowd that will be there."   

Some of the events highlighting Pitt's competition schedule include the college men's 4x400 meter relay on Friday afternoon at 1:30, which will be followed shortly by the college women's 4x400 meter relay at 1:50 pm that same afternoon.

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