Open main menu

The Drake Relays (officially the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee) is an outdoor track and field event held in Des Moines, Iowa, in Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University. Billed as America's Athletic Classic, it is regarded as one of the top track and field events in the United States.[1]

Drake Relays
Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee Logo.png
SportTrack and field
Founded(First held in April of 1910)
CountryDes Moines, Iowa, United States
QualificationTop Track and field Athletes
Related
competitions
Penn Relays
Official websitedrakerelays.org

HistoryEdit

The inaugural Drake Relays were held in 1910. The first meet drew just 100 spectators and 82 athletes, all from Des Moines-area colleges and high schools. The second year, however, drew 250 athletes and a crowd of some 500 spectators. In 1914, the Relays saw its first world record set. By 1922, the Relays had been expanded into a two-day event that drew 10,000 fans and became the first major track and field event broadcast on the radio. For the 1926 Relays, Drake Stadium was completed on the site of the prior host, Haskins Field.[2]

Women's events were added beginning in 1961 with Wilma Rudolph competing in the 100 meters.[3] The 1966 Relays began a streak of 48 consecutive Saturdays with a sellout.[4] In 1969, a $175,000 tartan track was installed. The events at the Relays would go all-metric beginning in 1976; the track was rebuilt in a 400-meter oval in 1978. The track oval was resurfaced in 1983 and in 1988 was renamed the "Jim Duncan Track" to honor the long time relays public address announcer.

Hundreds of Olympic gold medalists have competed at Drake Stadium including Bruce Jenner, Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Frank Shorter, Gwen Torrence, and Jeremy Wariner.[5] Hundreds more Drake Relays competitors have gone onto compete in the Olympic Games, including 113 former athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games.[6]

In 2006, a Friday night session was added for the first time.[7] In 2010, the Grand Blue Mile, a one-mile road race in downtown Des Moines, was added as the first athletic event.[8] The current week of festivities begins with a parade on Saturday, continues with a Beautiful Bulldog Contest (Drake's mascot) on Sunday, the Grand Blue Mile on Tuesday, and an indoor pole vault on Wednesday[9] with the decathlon and heptathlon beginning Wednesday and concluding alongside the distance carnival on Thursday.

In November 2012, Midwest grocer Hy-Vee was announced as the presenting sponsor beginning in 2013. Through the sponsorship, the Relays will offer a $50,000 purse in running events and $25,000 purse in field events, making the Drake Relays the richest athletics event in the United States. Further, 90 minutes of live-action coverage were aired on ESPN2 and an additional two hours on ESPN3.[10] The 2013 field saw 25 Olympic medalists in total.[11] Currently NBCSN airs 2–3 hours of coverage on Saturday with live coverage via NBCSports.com throughout the event.

Among other recent enhancements, in January 2018 Drake Relays unveiled the Blue Standard. Iowa's top high school athletes can now automatically qualify for the relays based on their times in their respective events. The Blue Standard is based on the historical data of the top 25 percent of accepted entries from past Drake Relays.[12]

In addition to serving as a track meet, the Relays serves as a second homecoming for the university[13] and sees wider community events, such as a student street painting and a downtown Des Moines block party.

Drake StadiumEdit

 
Drake Stadium during the Saturday session of the 2014 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee

Opened in 1925, the 14,557-seat stadium and its famous blue oval have hosted the Relays since 1926. A $15 million renovation in 2006 reduced capacity from 18,000 seats in order to expand the lanes, allow fans to watch throwing and running at the same time, and allow for more hosting of events.[7] Another renovation following the 2016 relays saw a new track installed, constructed of the same material used for tracks in Beijing and London for the Summer Olympics.[14]

Relays DirectorsEdit

Eleven men have claimed the role of director of the Drake Relays since the very first officially organized track and field event took place more than 100 years ago back in the year 1910.

  • John L. Griffith 1910–1918
    Griffith was the founder of the Drake Relays. He remained director for nine years and moved to the University of Illinois after World War I. He later became commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. Drake's live bulldog mascot, Griff, is named for him.
  • M. B. Banks 1919–1921
    Banks also served as coach to the Drake football and basketball teams.
  • K. L. (Tug) Wilson 1922–1925
    Wilson was a former Illinois and Olympic athlete. After his tenure as director, he went on to become athletic director at Northwestern University. Wilson was also a former Big Ten Conference commissioner.
  • O. M. (Ossie) Solem 1926–1932
    Longtime Drake coach succeeded Wilson, later became head football coach at the University of Iowa and Syracuse University
  • F. P. (Pitch) Johnson 1933–1940
  • M. E. (Bill) Easton 1941–1947
  • Tom Deckard 1948–1955
  • Bob Karnes 1956–1969
  • Bob Ehrhart 1970–2000
  • Mark Kostek 2001–2005
  • Brian Brown 2006–2016
    Brown participated in the relays himself and held the Drake Relays record in the high jump until 2014. For his first eight years as director, Brown had attempted to have his record broken by recruiting some of the best high jumpers in the country.[15]
  • Blake Boldon 2017–present

Meet recordsEdit

MenEdit

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Ref
100 m 10.01 (+1.9 m/s) Harvey Glance   United States 24 April 1976 [16]
200 m 20.02 (+1.7 m/s) Wallace Spearmon   United States 28 April 2012 [17]
400 m 44.08 Kirani James   Grenada 29 April 2016 [18]
800 m 1:45.86 Randy Wilson   United States 28 April 1978 [19]
1500 m 3:38.27 Steve Scott   United States 28 April 1984 [20]
Mile 3:51.71 Alan Webb   United States 28 April 2007 [21]
5000 m 13:27.20 Nick Rose   United Kingdom 29 April 1977 [22]
10000 m 28:07.40 Kipsubai Koskei   Kenya 26 April 1980 [23]
110 m hurdles 13.04 (+1.8 m/s) Omar McLeod   Jamaica 29 April 2017 [24]
400 m hurdles 48.28 Danny Harris   United States 25 April 1986 [25]
3000 m steeplechase 8:31.02 Henry Marsh   United States 30 April 1977 [22]
High jump 2.40 m (7 ft 10 14 in) Derek Drouin   Canada 25 April 2014 [26]
Pole vault 5.85 m (19 ft 2 14 in) Chris Nilsen   United States 27 April 2019 [27]
Long jump 8.26 m (27 ft 1 in) Anthuan Maybank   United States April 1993
Triple jump 17.12 m (56 ft 2 in) Christian Taylor   United States April 2013
Li Ning   China
Shot put 22.10 m (72 ft 6 in) Christian Cantwell   United States 29 April 2006 [28]
Discus throw 64.59 m (211 ft 10 34 in) Reggie Jagers   United States 28 April 2018 [29]
Hammer Throw 72.77 m (238 ft 8 34 in) Libor Charfreitag   Slovakia 27 April 2002 [30]
Cory Martin   United States 26 April 2008 [30]
Decathlon 8198 pts Kip Janvrin   United States 25 April 1996 [31]
10.96 (100 m), 7.20 m (long jump), 13.72 m (shot put), 1.98 m (high jump), 48.57 (400 m) /
14.70 (110 m hurdles), 43.16 m (discus), 4.95 m (pole vault), 58.02 m (javelin), 4:11.63 (1500 m)
4 × 100 m relay 38.96 University of Alabama
Emmit King
Lamar Smith
Calvin Smith
Walter Monroe

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
30 April 1983 [32]
4 × 200 m relay 1:20.53 University of Texas-El Paso
Obadele Thompson
Milton Mallard
Hayden Stephen
Andrew Tynes

  Barbados
  United States
  United States
  Bahamas
30 April 1994 [33]
4 × 400 m relay 3:00.78 Southern Illinois University
Parry Duncan
Tony Adams
Elvis Forde
Michael Franks

  United States
  United States
  Barbados
  United States
28 April 1984 [20]
Sprint medley relay (2,2,4,8) 3:12.19 Alabama State University April 1983
4 × 800 m relay 7:14.89 University of Nebraska
Gerard O'Callaghan
Glen Cunningham
Regis Humphrey
Jean Verster

  Ireland
  United States
  United States
  South Africa
26 April 1985 [34]
Distance medley relay 9:30.45 Southern Methodist University April 1983
4×110 m Shuttle hurdles relay 52.94 USA Blue
Jason Richardson
Aleec Harris
Aries Merritt
David Oliver

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
25 April 2015 [35]

WomenEdit

Event Record Athlete Nationality Date Ref
100 m 11.06 (0.0 m/s) LaShauntea Moore   United States 24 April 2010 [36]
200 m 22.40 (+0.7 m/s) Gwen Torrence   United States 30 April 1994 [37]
400 m 50.13 Francena McCorory   United States 25 April 2015 [35]
800 m 2:00.03 Ajee' Wilson   United States 24 April 2015 [38]
1500 m 4:03.35 Jennifer Simpson   United States 26 April 2013 [39]
Mile 4:40.2 Francie Larrieu-Smith   United States 27 April 1975 [40]
3000 m 8:56.03 Suzy Favor-Hamilton   United States 27 April 2002 [41]
Two miles 9:16.78 Jennifer Simpson   United States 27 April 2018 [42][43]
5000 m 15:23.21 Karissa Schweizer   United States 26 April 2018 [29]
10000 m 32:57.38 Patti Murray   United States 28 April 1988 [44]
100 m hurdles 12.40 (+1.5 m/s) Jasmin Stowers   United States 25 April 2015 [35]
400 m hurdles 54.41 Zuzana Hejnová   Czech Republic 27 April 2013 [45]
3000 m steeplechase 9:52.37 Adva Cohen   Israel 26 April 2018 [29]
High jump 1.98 m (6 ft 5 34 in) Chaunte Lowe   United States 28 April 2012 [46]
Pole vault 4.88 m (16 ft 0 in) Sandi Morris   United States 28 April 2018 [29]
Long jump 6.78 m (22 ft 2 34 in) Aisha James   United States 26 April 2003 [47]
Triple jump 13.79 m (45 ft 2 34 in) Shani Marks   United States 26 April 2003
Shot put 19.37 m (63 ft 6 12 in) Tia Brooks   United States 29 April 2016 [48]
Discus throw 64.38 m (211 ft 2 12 in) Becky Breisch   United States 24 April 2010 [49]
Hammer throw 72.51 m (237 ft 10 12 in) Brittany Riley   United States 28 April 2007
Heptathlon 6040 pts Diana Pickler   United States 21–22 April 2009 [50]
13.63 (0.0 m/s) (100 m hurdles), 1.78 m (high jump), 12.08 m (shot put), 24.48 (+1.7 m/s) (200 m) /
6.14 m (+1.0 m/s) (long jump), 41.39 m (javelin), 2:16.73 (800 m)
[51]
4 × 100 m relay 43.58 University Of Texas
Morgan Snow
Allison Peter
Christy Udoh
Chalonda Goodman

  United States
  United States Virgin Islands
  Nigeria
  United States
28 April 2012 [52]
4 × 200 m relay 1:31.96 Texas Southern University
Linda Eseimokumoh
Beatrice Utondu
Dyan Webber
Mary Onyali

  Nigeria
  Nigeria
  United States
  Nigeria
28 April 1989 [53]
4 × 400 m relay 3:28.42 Purdue University
Chole Abbot
Brionna Thomas
Symone Black
Jahneya Mitchell

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
28 April 2018 [54]
Sprint medley relay (2-2-4-8) 3:43.64 Arkansas State University
R. Williams
Dawn Harper
T. Ellis-Watson
C. Williams

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
25 April 2015
4 × 800 m relay 8:27.42 University Of Minnesota
Julie Schwengler
Jamie Cheever
Gabrielle Anderson
Heather Dorniden

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
27 April 2007 [55]
Distance medley relay 11:03.59 Stanford University
Lindsay Hyatt
Katie Hotchkiss
Lauren Fleshman
Malindi Elmore

  United States
  United States
  United States
  Canada
April 2003
4 × 100 m Shuttle hurdles relay 50.50 USA Blue
Brianna Rollins
Dawn Harper-Nelson
Queen Harrison
Kristi Castlin

  United States
  United States
  United States
  United States
24 April 2015 [38]

Future datesEdit

  • 110th Annual Drake Relays: April 24–27, 2019
  • 111th Annual Drake Relays: April 22–25, 2020
  • 112th Annual Drake Relays: April 21–24, 2021
  • 113th Annual Drake Relays: April 27–30, 2022
  • 114th Annual Drake Relays: April 26–29, 2023

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Borzi, Pat (24 April 2009). "Drake's Small-Town Atmosphere Draws a Big Track Meet". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Drake Relays; 75 Years of Excellence". drake.edu.
  3. ^ "Display Article". trackandfieldnews.com.
  4. ^ "Eleven Records Fall On Final Day Of 2012 Drake Relays Before Record-Tying Crowd Of 14,504". godrakebulldogs.com.
  5. ^ "Drake Stadium History". godrakebulldogs.com.
  6. ^ "113 Drake Relays Alumni Competing In Olympics; Collect Five Medals In Two-Day Period". godrakebulldogs.com.
  7. ^ a b "Drake Relays set to take off on refurbished track". Radio Iowa.
  8. ^ "Relays go downtown with Grand Blue Mile". The Times-Delphic.
  9. ^ http://alumni.drake.edu/s/1287/relays/start.aspx?sid=1287&gid=2&pgid=716
  10. ^ "Hy-Vee To Become the Presenting Sponsor of the Drake Relays". Newsroom – Drake University.
  11. ^ "Lolo Jones Set To Join Elite Drake Relays Field; Hall Of Fame Inductees Announced". godrakebulldogs.com.
  12. ^ "Drake Relays Presented by Hy-Vee Announces High School Blue Standards". Newsroom - Drake University.
  13. ^ "Drake Relays". Past, Present and Future of Iowa.
  14. ^ "Jim Duncan Track Resurfacing One Step Closer To Completion". godrakebulldogs.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Brian And Natasha Brown Depart Drake For Positions At Missouri". godrakebulldogs.com. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  16. ^ "1976 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 24 April 1976. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  17. ^ Jim Dunaway (29 April 2012). "Spearmon, Lowe and Wilson break meet records at Drake Relays". IAAF. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  18. ^ Cathal Dennehy (30 April 2016). "Kirani James flies to world-leading 44.08 at Drake Relays". IAAF. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  19. ^ "1978 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 29 April 1978. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  20. ^ a b "1984 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 28 April 1984. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  21. ^ AP (28 April 2007). "Webb shatters Scott's Drake Relays mile mark". USA Today. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  22. ^ a b "1977 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 30 April 1977. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  23. ^ "1980 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 26 April 1980. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  24. ^ "110m Hurdles Results". sidearmstats.com. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  25. ^ "1986 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 26 April 1986. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  26. ^ "2014 notes" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  27. ^ Zach Borg (28 April 2019). "USD's Chris Nilsen Wins Drake Relays Invitational Pole Vault Title Amid Professional Field". gkdlt.com. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  28. ^ AP (29 April 2006). "Wariner, Cantwell post strong performances at Drake Relays". ESPN. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  29. ^ a b c d "2018 notes". drakerelays.org. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  30. ^ a b Auburn Tigers (26 April 2008). "Cory Martin's Record-Tying Performance Highlights Saturday Competition For Track And Field Teams". Auburn Tigers. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  31. ^ "1996 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 27 April 1996. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  32. ^ "1983 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 30 April 1983. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  33. ^ "1994 results men" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 30 April 1994. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  34. ^ "1985 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 27 April 1985. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  35. ^ a b c "Notes". drakerelays.org. 25 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  36. ^ Dunaway, James (2010-04-25). "Cantwell opens with 21.69m effort in Des Moines – Drake Relays report". IAAF. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
  37. ^ "1994 results women" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 30 April 1994. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  38. ^ a b "Notes". drakerelays.org. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  39. ^ "1500 Metres Results". nmnathletics.com. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  40. ^ http://www.godrakebulldogs.com//pdf8/940885.pdf?SPSID=319753&SPID=8142&DB_OEM_ID=15700[permanent dead link]
  41. ^ "2002 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 27 April 2002. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  42. ^ "Jenny Simpson, in another return to Drake Relays, takes aim at American 2-mile record". Des Moines Register. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  43. ^ "Jenny Simpson breaks U.S. 2-mile record at Drake Relays". ESPN.com. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  44. ^ "1988 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 30 April 1988. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  45. ^ "400 Metres Hurdles Results". nmnathletics.com. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  46. ^ Luke Meredith (28 April 2012). "Wallace Spearmon, Jr. breaks Johnson's Drake mark report". greenwichtime.com. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  47. ^ "2003 Results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 26 April 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  48. ^ "Shot Put Results". deltatiming.com. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  49. ^ "Second Place This Time For Jones In Drake Relay Hurdles". WOWT. 2010-04-24. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
  50. ^ "Three Records Set On Opening Day Of Drake Relays". godrakebulldogs.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  51. ^ "Heptathlon Results". godrakebulldogs.com. 2010-04-21. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-05-29. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  52. ^ "Eleven Records Fall On Final Day Of 2012 Drake Relays Before Record-Tying Crowd Of 14,504". godrakebulldogs.com. 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  53. ^ "1989 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 29 April 1989. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  54. ^ "2018 notes". drakerelays.org. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  55. ^ "2007 results" (PDF). drakerelays.org. 28 April 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2013.

External linksEdit