Drake Relays
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Senior James Harrington, center, looks for his third 100-meter Drake Relays title
Courtesy: Drake Athletics

Drake Relays High School Field Features 2011 Boys’ MOP Harrington

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: April 24, 2012
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DES MOINES, Iowa - James Harrington, the 2011 high school Drake Relays boys' Most Outstanding Performer, headlines the high school field at the 103rd running of the Relays April 25-28.

Harrington, a senior at Cedar Falls, has snared back-to-back titles in the 100-meter dash as he won the event a year ago clocking in at 10.84 going into a strong headwind. This year, Harrington looks to break the Relays record of 10.63 set by Marques Simmons of Davenport North in 2000 and 2001. A win this year would put Harrington in elite company as only Clyde Duncan of Des Moines North (1962-64) and Simmons (1999-2001) have won three straight titles in the 100.

Harrington anchored Cedar Falls' 4x200 relay team that set the Drake Relays' record with a time of 1:27.41, topping Waterloo West's 1990 record of 1:27.45, and was a part Cedar Falls' winning 1600-meter sprint medley and 4x100 relays.

Cedar Falls has a majority of its 4x100 and 4x200 Drake Relay champion relay squads back. Two members return on the 4x100 with Harrington and Luke Toyosi, while Harrington, Toyosi and Mitch Dowell are back on the 4x200 relay squad that set a Drake Relays record of 1:27.41 in 2011.

Tyler Donels, a senior at Southeast Polk, won the 110-meter hurdles at last year's Drake Relays finishing in 14.38. Donels is expected to face fierce competition from Linn-Mar's Brandon Ophoff, who narrowly missed out on the finals a year ago. Donels also is expected to compete for the high jump title, as he had a personal best of 7 feet 2 inches last year.

The 800-meter record of 1:55.82 set by Kyle Wheeler of Glenwood a year ago is in jeopardy. 2011 Class 2A champ Neil Flattery of St. Edmond, Fort Dodge ran 1:55.33 and is among the season leaders.

After winning the 4x400, Jacob Nimtz and Trey Lewis are back for the West Des Moines-Valley 4x400 squad. The Indianola 4x800 relay features two members from the 2011 winning squad in Andy Arndt and Tyler Krpan.

In the girls division, nine of the 16 girls records have been set in the past two years and three Drake Relays' champions return to defend their crowns.

Erin Hawkins of Des Moines Roosevelt won the 100-meter dash in 12.74, while her teammate Agnes Sayeh claimed second in 13.00. Both have a chance of threatening the Relays record of 12.13 as Hawkins and Sayeh have times of 11.92 and 12.02, respectively.

Sarah Pate of Clarke-Osceola won the 2011 Drake Relays shot put with a heave of 42 feet 10.25 inches. Des Moines Roosevelt junior Alexa Hunt leads the field this season with a 44 feet 10 inch effort.

In the discus, Williamsburg's Dakotah Goodell, a senior, is the reigning champion with a winning throw a year ago of 140 feet. Katelyn Weimerskirch, a Wahlert Dubuque senior, is the early season leader with a toss of 148 feet 11 inches.

The Des Moines Roosevelt 4x100 has two returning runners in Hawkins and Jaylnn Roberts-Lewis from its winning and record-setting squad a year ago of 47.79. The Roughrider squad looks to smash their record as this year they hold a state best time of 47.44.

The Roughriders also set the 4x200 Drake Relays record last year en route to a title. Three members return, as Hawkins, Roberts-Lewis and Makenna Schnack are back.

The West Des Moines Valley sprint medley relay team has three runners returning from its 2011 winning squad in Chloe Matthews, Caryln LaGrone and Lydia Saggau.

Tickets for the 2012 Drake Relays April 25-28 are on sale now, and may be purchased online through the official Drake Athletics website (www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com) or by calling (515) 271-DOGS (3647).

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