PHILADELPHIA - The Penn Relay Carnival adds to the Wall of Fame, which was first posted in 1994 at the time of the 100th running.
The class of 2009, the 16th group of inductees, brings the number of individuals selected up to 79, with 69 relay teams having been chosen. Four individuals and four relay teams were selected by a panel of Penn Relays experts.
The sole restriction in the nomination process is that only retired athletes (or those now competing as masters) may be nominated, and inductees are honored solely for their accomplishments at the Penn Relays; achievements in any other meets are not considered. Any relay team may be nominated, and nominations of relay teams and individuals will be accepted by the Penn Relays office at any time and from any interested party.
This year’s individual inductees is a rare class, with all four athletes noted for their performances in individual events at the Relays. Al Cantello and Fritz Nilsson were each three-time winners in the their events, as was Sally Glynn some 40 years later. Each set meet records in their specialties. The fourth inductee, Tony Waldrop, recorded only one victory at the Relays, but his 1974 mile win still stands as the Carnival record 35 years later.
Relay teams from three different eras are also being celebrated this year. The University of Pennsylvania 1917 freshman mile relay team harkens back to the days before freshman eligibility became the norm in the 1960s. The host school’s team of Fred Davis, Izzy Hough, Bob Maxam and Earl Eby ran 3:22.0, a meet record which lasted until 1930.
The University of North Carolina 1949 shuttle hurdles team set a pair of meet records that year, running 60.1 in the heats and becoming the first team under 60 seconds with its 59.3 in the final. The mark, which lasted nine years, was set by Bob Morrow, Jack Moody, Bill Albans and Dick Taylor.
In 1997, John Muir High School set a still-standing Carnival record of 3:08.72 for the 4x400. The team of Jucorie Tryon, Shaheed McCullough, Sultan McCullough and Obea Moore broke the old record by nearly two seconds, and was the first high school team to break 3:10 at the Relays.
Lousiana State set Carnival and national collegiate records of 1:29.78 in the 4x200 in 2003. The team of Nadia Davy, Monique Hall, Stephanie Durst and Muna Lee still hold both records to this day.
Nilsson was a rare five-time winner at the Penn Relays, dominating the weight events in the 1950s. Only the second of three three-time winners of the discus throw, he set a Carnival record of 174-3 7/8 in 1955, a mark that lasted seven years. He also won a pair of shot put titles during his career.
La Salle ‘55
The first of only two three-time winners of the Penn Relays javelin throw, Cantello set a Carnival record of 223-11 in 1955. While the record lasted only one year, he was the last record holder to throw a wooden javelin, and his record broke the longest-standing javelin standard at the Relays, a mark that had lasted 17 years.
North Carolina ’74, unattached ‘75
Waldrop had a magical year in 1974, including a long string of indoor sub-4-minute miles and the world record. But his fastest race of the year was his still-standing Relays record 3:53.2. His performance earned him the Outstanding Male Collegiate Track Athlete for that year’s Carnival.
Walter Johnson High School (Bethesda, Md.) ’95, Stanford ‘01
The only three-time winner of the Penn Relays high school 1,500 meters or mile run, Glynn set a Carnival record of 4:24.51 as a sophomore in 1994. Her mark lasted as the standard for these two events for eight years. In her subsequent two victories, Glynn ran under 4:30 both times, and finished her Relays career running for Stanford.