Penn Relays return after 2-year hiatus due to pandemic

The Penn Relays were founded in 1895.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Penn Relays kicked off Thursday morning at Franklin Field after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic.

"The pandemic really knocked us down, but we're back up now so it's full of joy and excitement to be here because this is I could say the Mecca of it all," Michael Graham, coach of Elmont Memorial High School in New York, said.

The Penn Relays were founded in 1895.

Athletes are hoping to leave their mark.

The morning started with high school girls' 4 x 800 relay heats.

Students we spoke with say they were thrilled to be back competing.

"It feels good because I get to show what I've been doing during quarantine...a lot of weights, a lot of running," high school sophomore Ashley Fulton said.

Parents were also happy to be back in the stands

"It's fantastic. It's been a while so it's good to be back with everyone," Ed Grace of Yardley, Pa. said.
Although it was chilly outside, Grace said it was "still better than not having it."

We saw many bundled up with blankets in the bleachers

"It's beautiful, love it. So much excitement. The weather's beautiful, a little chilly but everyone's excited," Toni Hochreiter of Bristol, Pa. said.

And for the high school seniors, parents were thankful they got to race before heading off to college.

"We're really excited to have normal anything for our kids. This is really exciting to see people having fun and see kids sitting close to each other," Lori Farmer of Silver Spring, Maryland said.

You still have time to check out the competitions with events running through Saturday.

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