Dawgs send relay teams to historic Penn Relays

April 24, 2009

By Honsen Lin
The Daily

The last time Washington competed in the historic Penn Relays in 1993, head coach Greg Metcalf was a senior on the UW track team.

The Relays, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania and held since 1895, annually attract about 15,000 athletes from all competitive levels.

Two UW relay teams will be competing among 2008 Olympians such as Asafa Powell and Allyson Felix, though not directly with them.

One of those relays is the women's 4x1,500-meters, which includes Katie Follett, Christine Babcock, Mel Lawrence and Kailey Campbell, each of whom were on the Huskies' cross-country team that won the NCAA title.

Follett, excited for her first trip to the Relays, anticipates the meet as one of the highlights of the season.

She also mentioned an ambitious goal she and her teammates are planning for the weekend.

'I would love to go there with my teammates and be able to set some sort of record,' Follett said. 'We've been talking about it since the beginning of the track season.'

The Dawgs will also be sending a sprint medley relay team, which includes All-Americans Jordan Boase and Austin Abbott, as well as seniors Kenjamine Jackson and Joe Turner.

The sprint medley relay is a race in which a 200-meter sprinter leads off, followed by another 200 leg, then a 400-meter, ending with an 800-meter anchor.

'It's kind of hard for schools to put those [legs] together because it's hard to be that deep at those positions ... but we definitely have that this year,' said Boase, the Huskies' 400 sprinter. 'I definitely think we can go out there and win as long as everyone runs their best.'

Boase, who said the goal is to win, also looks forward to the Relays as a chance to race, while escaping the scrutiny of being timed as an individual.

'I wouldn't say a whole lot is at stake,' Boase said. 'Most of it is just going for the experience.'

Both UW teams competing in the Penn Relays run their races Friday.

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