By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Local college track and field teams are finally getting their chance to compete. The Penn Relays hosted the event Saturday. It was canceled last year, and it was still somewhat scaled back.

This jump into the air may have never felt more rewarding than now.

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These pole vaulters plus runners, and other track and field athletes competed Saturday at the Philadelphia Metropolitan Collegiate Invitational at Franklin Field in University City.

The track and field meet was hosted by the Penn Relays after the actual Penn Relays was canceled for a second year due to city restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I was amazed that it was going to happen, I’m very grateful to be here,” Meri Krieger, a University of Delaware pole vaulter said. “It’s a good day.”

The competition included 18 local collegiate teams and so many athletes who trained so hard for months, or even years, to be here.

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“We just wanted to have some sort of activity and provide competitive opportunities for our local collegiate athletes,” Penn Relays Executive Director Scott Ward said.

There were no spectators in the stands at the event Saturday. Instead, these are just coaches and athletes.

“It’s sad and weird and quiet, but anything you can do to be out here is good,” Krieger said.

“I’m used to being in here and it’s filled with spectators all over the place,” Zachary Haupt, a University of Delaware track and field coach, said, “and you can barely hear yourself talk or think. But it’s good just to be in a facility to compete.”

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For those who wanted to watch, the event was streamed online.