Terps Blend Past, Present for Penn Relays Trip

Maryland Athletics
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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Some of the top athletes in the world will be part of the competitors that University of Maryland track and field teams will face this weekend at the 120th annual Penn Relays.

The meet starts on Thursday and runs through Saturday afternoon. A number of the top high school, college, national and international athletes will compete at one of the most historic meets in the United States.

The Penn Relays has always been a focal point on the Maryland track schedule, dating back to the 1960s and 1970s when some of the top names in the nation wore Maryland jerseys.

“We’re looking forward to the tradition of running in the Penn Relays,” said head coach Andrew Valmon. “This is a great opportunity for our team to compete on a stage with the best collegiate and professional athletes.”

This weekend, recently crowned ACC women’s high jump champion Amina Smith will compete against some of the top collegians on the east coast in that event.

Maryland will also send some of its throwers into the fire after Cici Onyekwere, Sonya Napariu and Pat Cole each scored at the ACC Outdoor Championships.

The Terps will attempt to best their school-record mark in the shuttle hurdle relay set earlier this season at the Florida Relays. Maryland will also put Myah Hicks in the anchor spot of a quality sprint medley relay.

“Our focus is on a few quality relays and some field events,” said Valmon. “We want this to be a stage where we can set up quality competition for our athletes.”

Though the focus will be on current student-athletes, Valmon also wants his Terrapins to honor the past.

For example, he will point toward the Penn Relays in 1979 when Hall of Fame hurdler Renaldo Nehemiah helped the Terrapins win three relays – anchoring the 4x200, 4x400 and shuttle hurdle relay all on the same day – just two weeks after he set a world record in the 110-meter hurdles.

Nehemiah still sits atop a number of Terrapin all-time lists, competing for Maryland during a stretch when it won 24 straight ACC outdoor team titles.

Nehemiah joins women’s thrower Marita Walton as members of the Penn Relays Wall of Fame. Walton still holds three school records at Maryland, each set in the early 1980s with performances significantly better than others on the Terps’ all-time lists.

Coverage of the 2014 Penn Relays Carnival, including streaming video, is available at