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Mary Van Sciver, 89 Year Old Enters First Penn Relays

89 Year Old Enters First Penn Relays

VOORHEES, NJ, April 24, 2017 – 89 Year Old Enters First Penn Relays.  Spring is finally here, and the warm weather has everyone ready to get outside and stretch their legs. For most residents of Brandywine Living at Voorhees, a stroll outside is sufficient – but for 89-year-old Mary Van Sciver, it’s time to push her athletic boundaries. She is training to enter the Penn Relays Masters Mixed 100 meter dash on Saturday, April 29th – a race specifically for athletes over the age of 80.

The Penn Relays are the United States’ oldest track and field competition, dating back to 1895. It is also one of the largest track events in the world, drawing over 15,000 participants and a whopping 100,000 attendees over the course of the week. The relays are hosted by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, traditionally held during the last week of April.

Mary was born in Merchantville, NJ, and has been a lifelong resident of southern New Jersey. Always the athletic type, she was goalie of her high school field hockey team and went on to enjoy daily runs with her husband, Hugh. She and Hugh moved to Brandywine Living at Voorhees in January of 2016, and Mary has continued her athletic endeavors by taking every exercise class available at the community. “I always thought keeping moving was a helpful thing to do in growing up and in older age,” said Mary.

“I’ve always been pretty active. I played tennis, we both ran Broad Street and things like that. I used to play soccer with my kids.”


The decision to enter the Penn Relays occurred one afternoon in the Tap Room at Brandywine. Mary, Hugh, and a few other residents were discussing local sporting events, and one of them mentioned the Penn Relays. Hugh had run the Penn Relays while he was in high school, and given Mary’s natural athleticism and competitiveness, the idea to enter the Masters Mixed was born. She has since been using Eastern High School’s track to practice for the competition, with the help and encouragement of Brandywine Living at Voorhees’ Escapades Producer (and fellow athlete), Jennifer Soss. Virtua has also made their Center for HealthFitness in Voorhees available to Mary in preparation for the event.

When asked about the upcoming race, Mary said that she is nervous, but excited. Her motto, “No lookers, only doers!” continues to drive her through her training, and has inspired her friends and fellow residents. Mary also shared some advice: “To everybody involved or listening, keep moving! Keep moving! If you can.”

Mary will be competing against 15 other athletes at 3:00pm on Saturday, April 29th, on the last day of the Penn Relays.

About Brandywine
Brandywine Living is a market leader in luxury senior living, including assisted living, memory care and independent living. Founded in 1996, and headquartered in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Brandywine currently operates 27 communities in five states (PA, NJ, NY, CT & DE) with the capacity to serve over 2,700 residents.

Brandywine is actively expanding its portfolio in the Mid-Atlantic and currently has over $100 million of construction in progress (including a community in Livingston, NJ opening in May 2017). Brandywine is under agreement for additional sites in Northern VA and Montgomery County, MD, and anticipates opening five communities in the D.C. metropolitan area.