Herd track and field begins historic Penn Relays

Marshall track and field began competition Thursday at the historic 124th annual Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

The meet is the largest and oldest track and field competition in the United States. The first Penn Relays were held in 1895. The event, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, regularly attracts more than 15,000 participants from high schools, colleges, and track clubs throughout North America and abroad, competing in more than 300 events over five days. Historically, the event has been credited with popularizing the running of relay races.

A season ago at the Penn Relays, Herd athletes broke the school’s distance medley relay and shuttle hurdle relay records. This season, the Herd will compete in four total relay events. On the first day of the event one year ago, the distance medley relay team consisting of then-junior Barkley Castro, junior Andrea Chidester, freshman Mary Zulauf, and senior Andrea Porter broke the school record with a time of 12:08.82.  The next day, the shuttle hurdle relay team of Hannah Carreon, Sarah Bever, senior Danielle Wright, and then freshman Safiyyah Mitchell ran a time of 57.30.

Junior Elena Marchand began competition for Marshall athletes Thursday morning in the discus throw with a personal record throw of 159 feet, 4 inches (48.58 meters). Freshman Lauren Zaglifa later broke her own school record in the pole vault, clearing 11 feet, 11.75 inches (3.65 meters) for a 13th-place finish.  Junior Sarah Bever (25th, high jump), sophomore Christianna Dogan (22nd, 400-meter hurdles) sophomore Ericka Budd (24th, shot put) each recorded top-25 finishes for the Herd. Marshall athletes competed in 10 events Thursday and will take part in six events Friday.

Marshall is coming off yet another successful outing at the Virginia Classic the past weekend where records continued to be shattered. Katrina Maynard’s record for the 10,000-meter run had stood for more than 28 years before senior HollyAnn Swann ran the race in 35:28.12, breaking Maynard’s record by nearly two minutes.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected].