The Gators track and field team is hoping it can be a lot like Ben Franklin and catch some lightning in Philly this weekend at the 117th Penn Relays.
Coach Mike Holloway has split up the squad to divide and conquer two of the outdoor season’s most prestigious events, the Penn and Drake Relays. The 102nd edition of the Drake Relays will be held Thursday through Saturday at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The 117th Penn Relays are held in Philadelphia, Penn., at the University of Pennsylvania.
Holloway is excited to see how Florida’s strength this year, its relays, pans out against the tough opponents at Penn. “It’s truly a relay carnival, and it is a great competition,” coach said. “It gives us the chance to go out and compare ourselves against some of the better relay teams in the country.”
Associate head coach and throws coach Steve Lemke will take the throwers to the Drake Relays while the rest will be heading to Franklin Field for the Penn Relays with Holloway.
The relays are the Univ of Fla.’s last chance for a tune-up before it’s time to win the real hardware, championship season. As the Gators’ last major event before the SEC Championship in Atlanta, watch for the Gators to pull out all the stops and run some of the year’s fastest times.
The Florida men’s team is currently ranked No. 4 in this week’s USTFCCCA rankings, while the UF women are currently not in the Top 25.
Fun fact: Comedian, native Philadelphian, and pudding pop enthusiast Bill Cosby is a fixture at the Penn Relays. Cosby ran track during his time at Temple University. Here’s a video of Cosby talking about how much the Penn Relays mean to him in classic Cosby style (http://www.thepennrelays.com/newMediaPlayer/consolewmp.htm?SPID=12701&CLIP_FILE_ID=107648&id=107648&type=vod&DB_OEM_ID=1720&DB_MENU_ID=&SPSID=103357&oemid=1720&CLIP_ID=103026).
Chris Raleigh is the beat reporter for Gator track & field and volleyball. You can also follow him on Twitter at ChrisRaleighGC.