Penn Relays draw big crowds in University City section of Philadelphia

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Penn Relays draw big crowds: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at noon on April 28. (WPVI)

Hundreds of events, thousands of athletes.

This is the 123rd year of the Penn Relays, an historic event that draws competitors from around the country and around the world.

"It's so cool knowing the history of this and that we can be a no part of it," said Arcola Intermediate School Coach Ron Schnabel.

For athletes from middle schools, high schools and colleges - and professionals as well - this is an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to be seen.

"There's a lot of colleges here, it's your chance to go out and show your talent," said one athlete.

"We get to watch a lot of great runners," said Downingtown East High School senior Jeremy Jennings. "We get to watch team USA vs. the world. We get to watch other runners, their technique, what they do to warm up."

With so many athletes, cameras and spectators, a few nerves are natural.

But runners and coaches explain they try to use that extra adrenaline to their advantage.

"Just try to do my best," said Arcola student Aaron Sanchez. "Leave it all on the track and see how we do."

"I just take it as another big meet, states' meet," said Downingtown East junior Quran Brown. "... put my music in and just rock out."

"Track is about passion," said Bloomfield College coach Lisa Morgan. "You tell them it's about competition, racing and doing the absolute best that you can."

The 2017 Penn Relays wrap up on Saturday.

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