As if the consistent national athletic attention and overwhelming adoration from Pennsylvania’s adolescent population wasn’t enough, Penn State has gained another round of ammunition to hold against its longtime Philadelphia rival.
To the surprise of the tens of collegiate track and field fans on campus, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced on Tuesday that the historic Penn Relays will be moving to Penn State.
“Does this in any way affect Fling?” asked one particularly devoted supporter during Gutmann’s ensuing question and answer session.
In what can only be described as one of the great clerical mix-ups in the history of track and field, the first annual Relays — which was held in 1895 — was mistakenly held at Penn and not Penn State, as the event's bylaws originally intended.
Prior to that 1895 contest, the vast majority of the event’s participants simply followed the Jamaican horse-and-buggy, which had made an incorrect turn near Washington and fortuitously ended up at Franklin Field.
“I suppose everyone was just so accustomed to following behind the Jamaican athletes that they never questioned it,” said Stephanie Hightower, President of USA Track and Field Association. “Some things never change.”
The only team that successfully made that first trip to Penn State was the Albanian national team, which paid especially close attention to the telegraphed event announcement. The team proceeded to run the race uncontested on Penn State’s outdoor track and has done so for each of the subsequent 119 years.
“It all makes sense now,” one Penn State senior said. “Every April, this group of people completely dressed in track gear and speaking minimal English kicks everyone off the track and runs races against no one in particular.”
Thus, despite their relative lack of track expertise, the Albanians — whose previous claim to fame in the United States was rapper and avid non-runner Action Bronson — will be named champion of every single event in the meet’s history.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt when informed that his gold medal had been stricken from the record books. “I’m pretty sure I had to try in that one too."
“We saw all the ‘Not Penn State’ t-shirts, so we figured we were right where we were supposed to be.”
The Penn State administration briefly considered erecting a statue on campus to commemorate the Albanian national team but decided against it given events in recent years.
While Franklin Field’s 50,000-person capacity has been able to sustain the event’s growth in popularity, Penn State does not have such luxuries. By comparison, Penn State’s outdoor track facility is capable of seating “500 [with] standing room” with “portable restrooms available.”
Preliminary plans have called for spectators to piggyback on top of one another to help save room around the athletic facility.
“We’ll get by,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “It’s about time Pennsylvania’s premiere track meet came home to Pennsylvania’s premiere academic institution."
“Check the rankings,” Gutmann responded.
As of press time, it has been confirmed that Thomas Awad has completed the necessary paper work for his impending transfer.
Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.