HANOVER, N.H. – This Friday, January 11, marks the start of the 39th annual Dartmouth Relays, which will kick off at 11 am in Leverone Field House.

Friday’s events include the women’s college and open pentathlon and men’s college and open heptathlon. The pentathlon will see Dartmouth’s Karen Woolley (Herndon, Va.), Jessica Robson (Newport Beach, Calif.), and Kristen Kern (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) go up against nationally-ranked competition, including two-seed Reidun Wallin. Wallin’s father-in-law, Dartmouth head field events coach Carl Wallin, has been at Dartmouth for all 39 years in which the Relays have been held.

Friday will also see masters events start at 3 pm, as competitors age 30 and up take to the track.

Saturday’s events are primarily for high school competitors. Athletes from eight different states and Canada will make up the largest high school track and field meet in New Hampshire. Head coach Barry Harwick wants to make a good impression. “For many of these competitors, the Relays are their first exposure to Dartmouth,” Harwick said, “It’s a source of publicity for the track and field program, and a very helpful draw for recruiting.”

Christine Supino can attest to the draw of the Dartmouth Relays. The senior from Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, N.H. has already been accepted early decision to Dartmouth’s class of 2012. Seeded fourth in the 600 meter run, she’ll face three-seed Grace Rodriguez, a junior from Hanover High School.

Rodriguez is part of the variety of local talent that spectators can look forward to seeing on Saturday. Lebanon High School sophomore Dominic Filiano is the favorite in the shot put, and senior Anna Cioffredi, also of Lebanon High School, is the top seed in the 55 meter, 300 meter, and 400 meter dash events.

On Sunday, the college and open events get underway, with Dartmouth athletes favored in several events. Co-captains Harry Norton (North Reading, Mass.) and Randy McKnight (West Windsor, N.J.) are the top seeds in the men’s triple jump and 3000 meter run, respectively, while senior Mike Carmody (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) is the favorite in both the 1 mile and 800 meter runs.

The men’s events on Sunday will also see the exciting return of Dartmouth alumnus and two-time Olympic silver medalist Adam Nelson ’97 competing in the shot put.

For the women, Natalie Todd-Zebell (Portland, Ore.) is the top seed in the pole vault, while captain Jessica Long (Lynn, Mass.) will be a favorite in the weight throw. Head coach Sandy Ford-Centonze also has high expectations for the hurdles, in which Woolley, Victoria Michelotti (Tampa, Fla.), and Cassan Tanner (Baltimore, Md.) will compete.

“Karen, Victoria, and Cassan are our top hurdlers, and have consistently excelled,” said Ford-Centonze, “I have high expectations for Dartmouth in their event.”

Admission to the Relays will be free for Friday’s events, which will start at 11 am. Saturday’s competition will begin at 8 am, and Sunday’s at 9 am. Admission for Saturday and Sunday, which is $8/day for adults and $5/day for kids 14 and under, can be purchased at the door.