By Jon D. Gaede
Walnut - For those who appreciate the pure celebration of track & field, there is no better competition than the annual Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) Relays.
You never know who you might run into at the meets. Just a few years ago, a rather conspicuous 7’2” former Los Angeles Laker tried to hide his frame under a floppy white hat. Standing near the high jump pit, coaching some of the athletes. That man was Wilt Chamberlain.
This week marks the 54th year of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays in Southern California. This years schedule runs from April 14-21.
The meet launched last Saturday as the Community Colleges hit the track. Riverside Community College fielded full men and women’s teams and competed in all events.
On Friday night April 20th, Puma will sponsor a ‘Distance Carnival’ for elite runners and offer $10, 000 to any three finishers under 4 minutes in the mile run. Puma celebrates the spirit of competition and the long standing tradition of the 4 minute barrier.
The state of the art track has been a venue where many records have been broken. The stadium setting has gained a national reputation, similar to the Melrose Games or Penn Relays on the East coast.
Top Olympic athletes like Carl Lewis, Marion Jones, Quincy Watts, John Carlos,Tommy Smith, Lee Evans, Chaunte Howard, Carmelita Jeter, Angela Hayes, Nichole Denby, Bernard Lagat, Larry Myricks, Mike Powell, Ralph Boston and most recently, Allison Felix have competed at Mt SAC.
The track conditions should be warm and fast on Saturday. The Elite Invitational begins at 10 am. The meet will also celebrate past Olympic champions. In an olympic year, for a modest price, there is no better place to be.
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