One of the reasons Penn dominated the 1970s in men’s track was because the Quakers had athletes like Edward James. A four-year letterwinner, Ed helped Penn to six Heptagonal team titles during his career, including Indoor/Outdoor sweeps his junior and senior years.
Individually, Ed was an eight-time Heptagonal Games champion, winning the indoor 55-meter dash in 1975 and 1976, the outdoor 100 in 1975, and the outdoor 200 in both 1975 and 1976. He was also on Penn’s Heptagonal champion outdoor 4x100 relay teams for three straight years (1974-76). As a junior, Ed was an integral part of the 4x100 relay team that attained All-America status at the NCAA Championships with a time (39.59 seconds) that remains a school record -- in fact, 33 years later, that group remains the only Penn quartet in history to break 40 seconds in the event. As a senior, he also pulled off the 100/200 double at the IC4A Championships.
Ed was the 1976 recipient of the University’s Class of 1915 Award, considered the top honor for a male athlete at Penn, and the summer immediately after graduation he ran both the 100 and 200 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Ed graduated with the school records in the indoor 55, outdoor 100 and outdoor 200; his 200-meter record lasted 29 years before it was broken by 1/100th of a second in 2005, and more than 30 years later he still has the fastest non-wind aided 100 outdoor time and remains third on the school’s all-time list in the indoor 55.
Ed got to re-visit the Penn track experience from a different perspective in recent years, as his son Brent was a four-time letterwinner for the Quakers before graduating from College in 2005.