That means 985 U.S. high schools — between two and three percent of all American high schools — will be ventured to the City of Brotherly Love in a few weeks. The Relays will begin on Thursday, April 26, and conclude before an enormous crowd at Franklin Field on Saturday, April 28.
By the numbers, the Garden State of New Jersey leads the way with 251 schools entered, followed by Pennsylvania (228), New York (202), Maryland (107), Virginia (76), Delaware (33), Connecticut (18), North Carolina (13) and Massachusetts (12). Other states represented include California, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia. That’s 20 states in all.
As expected, the track-focused island of Jamaica leads the way among non-U.S. lands with more than half of such schools (33 of 62). Seven other Caribbean nations have had entrants — Bahamas (5), Trinidad & Tobago (5), Barbados (3), U.S. Virginia Islands (2), Cayman Islands (1), Grenada (1) and St. Vincent (1).
Three other countries will be represented, including nine schools coming from Zimbabwe (6) and South Africa (3). The final country represented at the high school level will be Canada.
Looking at the entries regionally is always a fun exercise as the New York metropolitan area will send 268 schools. The only way for the Philadelphia area to claim more is to annex the entire state of Delaware, which would give the host 269!
For purposes of this breakdown, New York includes the City, Long Island, North Jersey and the northern suburbs comprising of Section 1 in the New York State. Philadelphia includes the city as well as the surrounding counties plus South Jersey. Those account for 236 schools.
The D.C. capitol region will have 85 schools on the famed Franklin Field oval while Central Jersey (67), Baltimore (45) and New England (40) will also be amply represented.