Standout performers hope to win medals at Penn Relays.
The 118th annual Penn Relays are just around the corner for the women and men’s track and field teams.
The meet is one of the sport’s most prestigious meets, taking place Thursday through Saturday, April 26 to 28, at Franklin Field on Penn’s campus. It will draw upward of 90,000 spectators, as many anticipate the meet to bring some of the world’s most talented athletes together in one place.
“This year will be especially big,” coach Eric Mobley said. “With it being an Olympic year, you’re going to see a lot of professional athletes, along some of the top athletes and colleges in the world as well.”
Temple will compete against schools from all around the country, competing against conference rivals like Charlotte, as well as local schools such as La Salle and St. Joseph’s.
Fans should be sure to look out for Temple’s standout athletes, who have made names for themselves through impressive performances this season.
Freshman thrower Margo Britton may turn some heads after earning the Atlantic Ten Conference Rookie of the Week honors for two consecutive weeks during the weeks of April 9 and 16. The York, Pa., native received the weekly honors after back-to-back record-shattering performances: first with a school record in the shot put with a mark of 49 feet, 4.91 inches at the Florida Relays on April 7 and then set a second record in the discus at the Mason Spring Invitational on April 14 with a toss of 156 feet, 10 inches.
“[Britton] has been a stellar freshman for us,” junior sprinter Jennifer Abercrumbie said. “On throws all around, she’s broken numerous school records including her own.”
Freshman distance runner Jenna Dubrow also recently broke a school outdoor record in the 1,500 meter, set back in 1982 by Nancy Denka, with a time of 4 minutes and 36.17 seconds at the Florida Relays on April 6.
For the men’s track and field team, the distance squad appears well prepared for the weekend.
Mobley said the distance medley relay, which will include senior Travis Mahoney, sophomore Will Keller, redshirt-senior Lou Parisi and senior Alan Harding, should get some attention.
Mahoney, who was named A-10 Men’s Performer of the Week for the week of April 2, will be competing in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. The Old Bridge, N.J., native shattered the school’s record in the 5,000 meter with a time of 13:48:76 at the Stanford Invitational on April 6.
This year the senior is readying himself for this weekend and expects the mental preparation to be the most important.
“Our preparation is a little different psychologically, because of the longer waiting period between getting called for your event and actually finally racing,” Mahoney said. “There’s more time to think, so you have to be mentally ready.”
However, for Mahoney and his teammates, the Penn Relays are the perfect opportunity to get excited to compete at the A-10 championships on May 5 to 6 at Massachusetts.
“It’s all about posting good performances for the week before A-10s,” Abercrumbie said. “Putting ourselves in a scoring position is what we need now, so we can repeat it next week and come home with a championship.”
Mobley said he has to be tactful with how he selects who runs at the Penn Relays.
“While this meet is important for us as performers and for recruiting, the championships are our biggest concern,” Mobley said. “We want to put out solid performances, but we also don’t want to run our athletes three and four times in a meet like this.”
In other areas, senior throwers Alanna Owens and Brian Littlepage, as well as sophomore jumper Gabe Pickett, will all anticipate notable performances. The 1,600-meter relays for both squads are looking to produce season-best times at the meet as well, Mobley said.
“There’s a lot of talent in all those groups,” Mobley said.
Mobley is going on his fourth year with the program and is set on taking the team to the next level. He said so far the program has been successful due to the support and reliability of his coaching staff.
“We intend to make a name for ourselves nationally, rather than settle as one of the best programs in the city of Philadelphia,” Mobley said.
Elizabeth Sim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.