Penn Athletics cancels traditional Penn Relays

If health conditions in the city continue to improve, the Relays plan to sponsor three separate track meets in coming months.

Penn Athletics has announced that the 2021 Penn Relays, originally scheduled for April 22-24, has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and local restrictions on large gatherings. If health conditions on campus and in the City of Philadelphia continue to improve, the Penn Relays plans to host a local collegiate-only track and field meet on Saturday, April 24, that is consistent with the Ivy League Council of Presidents’ parameters regarding spring sport competition. The Penn Relays will also aim to host a meet for open and professional athletes in the coming months and a scholastic meet this summer.

“It is disappointing that we once again have to cancel one of the landmark events of the spring in Philadelphia and in track and field, but collectively we want to ensure the safety of our athletes, campus, community, and spectators,” said M. Grace Calhoun, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics. “Our goal on campus has been to safely move through the Ivy athletic activity phases to host competition, and we remain hopeful that we will be able to provide some competitive opportunities for as many athletes as possible who have missed out on so much this past year. Splitting the meet into three distinct group of participants provides the greatest opportunity to host safe competition.”

The collegiate-only track and field meet would consist of local Division I, II, and III institutions within the Philadelphia region in a one-day event. All teams and participants will have to comply with the COVID-19 campus safety policies and procedures in place, including adhering to sufficient testing programs, symptom checking, contact tracing, mask wearing, and physical distancing, except when actively competing. Only essential meet personnel will be permitted in Franklin Field and spectators are prohibited.

“We are extremely disappointed to cancel the Penn Relays for a second year,” said Dave Johnson, the Frank Dolson Director of the Penn Relays. “At the same time, we feel a strong obligation to the local track and field community to provide as much competition as safely possible during the course of the spring and summer.”

The open and professional meet will take place prior to U.S. Olympic-qualifying deadlines and the scholastic meet will be held later this summer. More information on both meets will be released at a later date.

Ticket holders who opted to credit their 2020 balance toward 2021 have a number of options.

Media contact: Kyle Gurganious at kgurgani@upenn.edu