Olympians, World Championship gold medalists set to compete at 123rd Penn Relays

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INDIANAPOLIS -- A strong lineup of Olympic and World Championships competitors – including Jamaica’s latest sprint sensation – is set to face off in the USA vs. The World events at the Penn Relays on Saturday, April 29. Seven nations, plus Team USATF, will light up the lanes on the track at Franklin Field.

The international relay competition will be available on USATF.TV +PLUS and NBC Sports Group properties.

Penn Relays coverage begins Thursday at 10 a.m. ET on USATF.TV +PLUS, followed by Friday events starting at 9 a.m. and continuing on NBCSN from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage of USA vs. The World will air on NBCSN from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. ET and on-demand on USATF.TV +PLUS. Click here for a full schedule.

Teams from the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Nigeria, and the British Virgin Islands are scheduled to compete in the six events staged Saturday afternoon. Athletes converge on the Franklin Field oval to vye for titles in the men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays. Team USATF clinched five of the six events last year.

Highlighting the Team USATF roster are a trio of women who won gold in Rio: 2016 4x100m gold medalists English Gardner (Voorhees, New Jersey) and Morolake Akinosun (Chicago, Illinois); and two-time 4x400m Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings (Brooklyn, New York).

With the USA-Jamaica rivalry always in the spotlight at Penn, Jamaica’s newest sprint queen, Rio 100m and 200m gold medalist Elaine Thompson provides international star power. She is joined by teammate Kerron Stewart, who owns two Olympic silver medals and one bronze.

On the men’s side, 2008 Team USATF Olympian Wallace Spearmon (Fayetteville, Arkansas) leads a group of competitive men including Brycen Spratling (Webster, New York) from 2016’s world-record setting men’s DMR squad; Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Connecticut), a Penn State graduate and American record holder in the indoor 600m (1:14.91) and 2011 World Championships gold medalist in the 4x400m Mike Berry (Seattle, Washington). Spearmon, who has run 26 sub-20 200s, has also won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka.  

Full list of competing athletes will be released next week. Invited athletes for USA vs. the World are subject to change.

Earlier this year, USATF and Penn announced a new partnership through 2020. The new partnership will expand television coverage from the traditional USA vs. the World relay events on Saturday to include a live, Friday night show on NBCSN. USATF.TV also will stream a live global webcast of the Penn Relays live during all three days of competition from 2017 through 2020.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

Fans can follow along at the #PennRelays with #USAvstheWorld on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

About the Penn Relays
Over 200 athletes from more than 35 countries competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, whose spotlight on the world stage took them through the Penn Relays. The 2017 edition will once again bring the top athletes from around the globe as the next generation of superstars look to make their mark at Franklin Field. 2016 marked the 13th-straight year the Penn Relays has totaled over 100,000 spectators going to watch the world’s greatest athletes in competition.

Founded in 1895 and officially named The Penn Relay Carnival, the relays gained recognition as the world’s first and largest track and field relay meet and is the nation’s longest uninterrupted collegiate meet. The event has drawn top high school, college and world-class athletes from around the globe and has been the scene of numerous American and world records.

About USATF
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.