Daily News staffer Frank Bertucci, who has been covering the Penn Relays for over four decades, offers these disappointing moments:
1. The 4 x 880-yard relay of 1967. Franklin Field was still a cinder and dirt track, it was raining, so the race was run in mud. Villanova anchor Dave Patrick seemed to have a safe lead but was chased down for probably the only time in his collegiate career. Fordham's Jack Fath passed him on the homestretch; Patrick dove across the finish line, into the mud, but Fath was past him.
2. The 1972 distance medley relay. This was to be Penn's year. Denis Fikes on the opening 880-yard leg, Bruce Collins on the 440, Julio Piazza on the 3/4-mile, Karl Thornton as the mile anchor. Thornton had a huge lead but took off too fast and was chased down by Villanova's John Hartnett. Penn finished third
3. The 2008 Tennessee women's distance relays. The Volunteers' Sarah Bowman had one of the cruelest days in Relays' history, finishing second in the distance medley, 4x1500-meter and 4x800-meter relays, by a total of 2.69 seconds.
4. Almost every "hot," first-timer, unprepared for the stiff competition, hitting the wall on the turn for home.