Kansas Relays in Lawrence to be postponed from 2021 date due to COVID-19

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From left to right John Capel, Maurice Greene and Mark Jelks run the Mens 100 Meter Dash Invitational during the KU Relays at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kansas on April 23, 2005. John Capel won in 10.10 seconds. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The Kansas Relays, one of the longest-running track and field events in the country, will be postponed in the spring as the University of Kansas tries to deal with a massive budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The school said in announcing its decision Wednesday that postponing the relays will save at least $300,000 from the Kansas Athletics budget, and perhaps more given the likely COVID-19 testing requirements.

Until last spring, when the pandemic began to sweep the country, the Kansas Relays had been held every year since 1923 with two exceptions: the outbreak of World War II led to its cancellation from 1943-45 and renovations in 1998 and 1999 to Memorial Stadium, which is also home to the Jayhawks’ football program.

The Kansas Relays once brought some of the world’s best athletes to Kansas. But in recent years, it has become a showcase for high school and college teams, some of whom still bring Olympic hopefuls on their teams.

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