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2014 Drake Relays Quotes

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: April 23, 2014
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4:22 p.m. - 4x400 - HS Boys Final
Albia - 3:18.90
Ryan Sarver (Jr.), Brett Leshen (Sr.), Luke Sarver (Jr.), Alex Schultz (Sr.)
On winning Albia’s first Relays title ….
Alex Schultz: “We were here last year, but didn’t really make an impression. We had different goals and instead of just making it here, we wanted to win it and put us on the map. It feels amazing. Last year we also won our first ever state championship for our school.”

On competing against bigger schools ….
Alex Schultz: “There’s a lot satisfaction knowing that we’re out there competing with the best and knowing that now we are the best.”

On his start to the race ...
Ryan Sarver: “When I start a race my goal is to catch up on that stagger. I knew if I could make up that stagger, our team had a really good chance of winning. I had faith in my other guys to run throught.

On watching his teammates race ...
Ryan Sarver: “I was nervous. We were in first and then second. Then the fourth leg, our anchor fought through and brought it home.”

4:15 p.m. - 4x400 - HS Girls Final
Champion Pleasant Valley, 3:53.65
Kaley Ciluffo, Carly Donahue,Claire Scharz Addie Swanson, Loyola

On the win( Swanson fell after the finish)
Addie Swanson (anchor): “We knew we had to give all we got. Even it met falling on the ground at the end. We told each other we would give it all we had and that’s what we did.

“I got the baton I knew I had to track Assumption down and see what happens. When I was on the ground I saw they brought me the Drake Relays flag and it put a smile on my face.”

4:07 p.m. - 4x400 - CD Men Final
Champion - Iowa Western, 3:09.03
Names, Gemechu Godi SO, Strymar Livingston FR, Travion Clark FR, & DeAndre McBride SO
Notes: 3 of them had just run the 4x100 and one ran the Sprint Medley...

On How often do they go back to back….
Clark: “That’s our first time because it seemed like as soon as we got done, we got up there, jogged two laps, and it was ‘Iowa Western your turn!”

On being tired…
Strymer: “I was.  I mean we just got done.”
Clark: “We know what we got to do, and if these three guys are going to suffer, I’m going to suffer too.”

On Getting team from 2nd to 1st position...
Clark: “I don’t know.  I knew to run a good race, you gotta start the race hard and I had seen that the other guys, I know they are great runners obviously ‘because they ran a really good time yesterday, so I knew I had to take advantage and I took advantage by starting out fast so I can carry my momentum through the rest of the race.”

On Anchor
McBride: “I was nervous.  I saw Trayvon get the lead, I gotta hold the lead, you know.  I can’t let my teammates down.   I looked up at the screen and saw where my homeboy was at.  i just ran my heart off.”
Livingston: “We all did good today, you know.  We’ve all been working  really hard, you know. A coach has motivated us, you know, to do better and everything, so you know we gotta give a lot of credit to our team.”

3:52 p.m. - 4x400 - UD Men Final
Champion - Arkansas, 3:03.89
Jarrion Lawson SO, Travis Southard SR, Omar McLeod FR, Neil Braddy SR
Notes: Neil Braddy was unavailable for interview due to throwing up after the race.
On being at the Drake Relays….
Southard: “We’re excited to be here. Drake’s a great track. We like coming here. Every time we come here we always run fast; something about that Drake Relays magic.”

On the strategy for this event….
Lawson: “This time it was kinda different. There wasn’t a strategy. It was just go out there, get it done, and get the baton to my teammate.”
McLeod: “First of all I just want to thank God. He’s the one who made this possible and without him we wouldn’t have been here. As for the race strategy, we just went out there just to have fun. … Our coach told us that if we win we would win overall so we didn’t let that get into our heads. We just went out there ... and had fun and pulled out a victory.” 

3:45 p.m. - 4x400 - UD Women Final
Champion - Baylor, 3:31.89
Alyssa Nichols, SR, Ashley Fields, SO, Olicia Williams, SO, Raena Rhone, JR
On the race ….
Nichols: “I really just wanted to make sure I got out and ran my own race. I knew it was a strong field and had to just bring it in and put us in good position.”
Fields: “Like she (Nichols) said we knew it was going to be a good field and we each had to run our own race and not get crazy. She gave us a little bit of a lead.”
Williams: “My job is to just keep us in the race, I feel. I tried to finish strong and hand the baton off to Raen.”
Rhone: “I have the easy job. These two ladies (Nichols and Fields) had to run the 4 x 100 about 30 minutes earlier. I thought they would be tired, but they helped us PR (personal record).

3:40 p.m. - 4x100 - HS Boys Final
Iowa City High
Chuck Riley Jr., Cory Lindsey Sr., Kole Butler Sr., Bryson Runge Jr., 42.84
First time winning an event at the Relays for each member.
On his strategy coming from behind on the anchor leg ….
Runge “If I am in range of anybody I can catch them. We had some issues with our lane assignments in the prelims, but we adjusted for the finals and used our training to push us to the win.”

On winning for the first time at Drake
Runge: “It feels awesome. We had a couple of second places. We worked really hard for this. We came together as a team and it feels really good.”

3:35 p.m. - 4x100 - HS Girls Final
Champion - Davenport Assumption
Emma Bassier (Sr.), Rose Ripslinger, (Sr.), Markel Mommsen (Sr.), Maddie Irmen (Sr.), 48.14
On the race….
Mommsen: “I saw Rose and Emma had a really good handoff, and Rose was coming on hard. I wanted to get out fast enough and handed it off to Maddie and watched her bring it in. It was a close race.”

On winning the Drake Relays title
Mommsen: “It was really exciting and cool to hear your parents yell. It was also awesome to hear everyone else cheer you on and it was amazing.

3:25 p.m. - 4x100 - CD Women Final
Champion - Lincoln, Mo., 45.59
Judith Riley SR, Yanique Ellington JR, Kimberly Bailey FR, Janae Johnson JR
On reason for success …
Riley: “Basically we did just what our coach told us to do. We have been working hard on getting the baton around.”
Bailey: “It was teamwork. That’s what it is all about.”
Johnson: “Like they said it is teamwork. We practice, practice, practice.”

3:20 p.m. - 4x100 - UD Men Final
Champion - Baylor, 39.14
Alex Reece SO, Blake Heriot SR, Everett Walker SR, & Trayvon Bromell FR
On Winning ….
Bromell: “It feels good.  Just to come out here as a team like we did and be able to execute this race like we did.  And you know pray about it and we just came out here and did what we had to win”

On Strategy for Race...
Reece: “Basically, get the stick around ‘cause this is like basically our first time running this relay because the last meet we didn't get the stick around, so we just wanted to get the stick around and get a good time, you know. Yeah this is our first time with this lineup”

On Baylor’s Success at Meet….
Bromell: “Trying to bring it back to the old days”

On Other Races...
Bromell: “Me and him (Everett) ran distance medley, but that’s basically it”

Thoughts about the race and winning it...
Reece: “I knew when he (Trayvon) got the stick we were gonna win”
Walker: “Right now he’s the fastest man in the world. With him, give him the stick in first place, ain’t nobody gonna catch him, ain’t nobody catchingus. So we know it was a wrap from here”
Bromell: “It’ like, we all got the same mindset.  You know, we work hard and we just come together as a team, and we just got that mentality that we are hungry and we want to eat something.  Came out with a clear mind and executed it.  Basically, that’s what we do,  and we stay together as a team and go to war together, so that’s what we do.”

3:15 p.m. - 4x100 - UD Women Final
Champion - Iowa, 44:51
Lake Kwaza SO, Elexis Guster FR, Alexis Hernandez FR, Brittany Brown FR
Notes: They won by 00:01
On the final leg of the relay...
Brown: “I just had to get the baton and I had to go… I didn’t know if I was gonna get it until I looked at the scoreboard and I was like ‘Oh, I got it!’”

On the Drake Relays as a whole…
Brown: I love the whole Drake Relay atmosphere. It’s my first time being here so I really wanted to win.

On her teammates….
Brown: “I was excited but I was stressed out for them (her teammates). I know that they had big goals of coming in and winning Drake and beating the school record, but I’m proud of all of us.”

3:08 p.m. - 1,500 Meters - UD/CD Men Final
Sam Penzenstadler, Junior, Loyola, 3:45.27
Penzenstadler also won the 2013 Drake Relays 1500.
On the defending the title...
“I wanted to come out here and try to win again. I wanted go out hard today. I did not care if it was me or someone else. I just kind of sat behind the pacer. With a lap to go, I took the lead and kicked it in. It was an honor to win last year. To do it again this year is amazing. The crowd is great and everyone was giving me high fives afterwards. I signed my first autograph today.”

3:00 p.m. - 1,500 Meters - UD/CD Women Final
Carly Hamilton, Junior ,Georgia, 4:17.59.
Hamilton also won the 2013 Drake Relays 1500 and set the meet record, 4:12.15. Hamilton was fifth in the 2014 NCAA indoor mile.
On the defending the title...
“Going into the race I wanted to defend my title, but I did not want to over analyze it. I was not going for the record today as much as I was going for the win. I hung back the first lap and did not want to lead the whole way. Halfway we were five or six seconds slower than last year. I felt good and decided to go up front and push the pace.”

Second Place
Molly Hanson, Sophomore, Wisconsin 4:19.98
On her last lap...
“I wasn’t sure when to start kicking, but my coach told me to wait until the last possible moment to start going. I waited until 200 meters to go, but Christy Cazzola passed me on the last turn. I knew it would be a battle.It was a tough race.”

On running in front of a packed house at Drake….
“I think it was the biggest crowd I have ever run in front of. I tried to zone them out and pretend it was just another race. It did help when you are in the race and you feel the energy from the crowd.”

2:52 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - Special Men
Champion - 53.77
Jeff Porter, Dominic Berger, Aries Merritt, Ty Akins
Thoughts on the race this weekend ….
Porter: Overall I thought it was a great race and I was very happy with the way I ran and going into the season I had two good races this weekend and it good to see where I’m at.
Berger: It was a really exciting race, mostly because you don’t get to run shuttle relays very often so the chance to have some of the best in the world as teammates is a lot of fun.
Akins: It was such an exciting race, especially for me as the anchor leg because I was able to see everything unfold and had the World Record holder coming at me to handoff at full speed so it got me going to not drop the ball for my teammates.
Merritt: This race was a lot different because the hurdles are so close to the 110 so there isn’t a lot of room for error because what I mean that the hurdles are so close to one another so if you hit one, it can bounce on another.

On the absence of a shuttle hurdle relay at Worlds in Jamaica….
Porter: It’s very disappointing, but every time you put four guys together on a team and have them race together. If there were some more shuttle relays everything will be right in the world.
Berger: I cannot believe that it’s a called a World Relays event and it does not have a shuttle hurdle relay featured. It’s disappointing as a hurdler to not see the event there, but I understand I’m not the one to make those decisions. When it says “World Relays” you would think without a doubt it would be there. If you look at the depth the U.S has for hurdlers as well as other countries like Jamaica and Great Britain, so it’s disappointing to see.
Akins: It’s such an exciting race and you can see that when we run them here at Drake, so maybe next time they will consider putting it in as a race.
Merritt: This race gives hurdlers another chance to win medals for our countries, because if you’re a hurdler running the 100 hurdles, you don’t get to run the 4x100 relays. This is a fun race and I think a lot of countries like the U.S. have a lot of depth in hurdlers and can put together a competitive team to race with.

On running at Drake
Porter: This was my first time running at shuttle relay at Drake and I loved the crowd, the track. It’s a great place to be and to meet fans.
Berger: I love the Drake Relays. I ran my personal best on this track back in college so I just love coming back to this track. I would definitely rank this as my top track in the U.S, even over Oregon, I just love it that much, and that’s a bold statement.  
Akins: This weekend was awesome, the weather was fantastic, the crowd and the atmosphere were awesome, the production with the introductions and the fireworks are all part of that. The competition here rivals some other diamond meets in the world, so I think with all the excitement and the crowd participation are all part of that too.
Merritt: It’s the Drake Relays and the crowds here are always fantastic 

2:42 p.m. - 110-Meter Hurdles - UD/CD Men Final
Vanier Joseph, Senior, Illinois, 13.68
On his performance….
“I feel like I had a pretty good start with the guys. Early on, hurdle three or four, I hit it and fell back. I tried to keep my composure and I started to come back hard towards the end of the race. It was unfortunate that there was a spill, but as my coach said I had to capitalize on the moment and pushing hard. A win is a win, no matter how you get it.”

On the spill during the race ….
“I saw it out of my peripheral heading out of the last hurdle. I had to keep my composure and finish it all the way through the line.”

On the crowd …
“When you run in front of a crowd like this it is a energy boost. It gets your heart rate going and it is so much more fun.”

2:36 p.m. - 100-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Women
Kristi Castlin, USA, 12.58
On her reaction to winning ….
“I was surprised. This is my first race of the season. I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder being in lane eight. I had to execute my best race since I was out there on my own.”

On going against such a talented, deep field….
“It is motivation. Its hard to be in the US because we are so deep. I want to establish myself and hopefully one day win a gold medal.”

On running in the Drake Relays …
“I won the Drake Relays in 2012. That was a great year for me. Unfortunately I hurt my hamstring right before the Olympics. I had the third fastest time in the world. It calms me to run here. I love the crowd here because they are so supportive. It is very laid back but not too laid back. They are so accomodating here.”  

Brianna Rollins, Nike, 12.58
A 2014  gold medalist at World Championships, who was second in photo finish in Moscow Games Rematch (12.576)
"This was a great opener. I just wanted to run a relaxed race and tried focus on myself. Someone else beat me to the line but that's okay. Someone beat to the line but that's okay it was all in God's plan. I have a race in Jamaica next weekend. "

Defending Drake Relays champ Queen Harrison, fourth in Moscow Games Rematch women's 100 hurdles (12.70)
"It was kind of a sloppy race for me. I had a real  clean race when I ran in  the shuttle hurdle relay Friday night, so I thought I might have wasted that race after today. I was very competitive. I was in the race but when it came time jump the hurdle I was all over the place.

"Of course, I'm upset about how I ran but I'm not upset about how I finished because it was a strong field. Of course I wanted to defend my title to show that I could win against there are more Drake Relays to win and I'll keep coming back.

"I didn't know indoor this year so it was a little bit harder to get the wheels turning. Other than that I've been training well and the times are going to drop. It just wasn't today."

Kellie Wells, Nike, 12.68, seventh
Thought on her race today….
“I really wanted to come out today really execute and have good first race out. I’ really happy my finish today in such an amazing field.”

On her competitors….
“I love my competitors, but we are absolutely cutthroat so I’m really happy with my finish today.”

On running at Drake again after finishing 4th at Nationals here last year…
“I was so excited to be back and wanted to come out and run a clean race, and I think I executed well today. The Drake Relays crowd is so amazing. Des Moines has the nicest people on the face of the planet. Everyone treats you like family so you want to come out and run a good race for them.”

On the absence of a Shuttle Hurdle Relay at Worlds in Jamaica….
“Yes, of course I’m upset about not having a Hurdle Shuttle Relay race but I’m hoping we can get it in there soon.”

2:28 p.m. - 100-Meter Hurdles - UD/CD Women Final
Jade Barber, JR, Notre Dame, 13.29
On Thought of finish ….
“I honestly didn’t think I took top three. So my only thoughts were: time to run the 4 by 1 and how to get there in the fastest way possible without running past my coach ‘because I knew i was probably going to get in trouble, so that was my thought process.”

On Running 100 Hurdles to 4x100 ….
“I used to try to have a strategy like where if I don’t put too much energy in here maybe I’ll last longer, but this year i found it works better if i take it one race at a time and, like I don’t think about the next one until I’m done.”

On Relays Record...
“No I knew I wasn’t going to.  I already ran three events yesterday.”

On Future Goals for 4x100
“I really just want to win”

2:20 p.m. - 100-Meter Hurdles - UD/CD Men Final
Trayvon Brownell, Fr., Baylor, 10.19
Co world junior record holder. Won the USA Junior Championship this past summer on the Blue Oval.
On being a Drake Relays Champion….
“To be back after winning the USA Juniors feels great. I love this track. To be able to win here a second time feels pretty good” 

2:15 p.m. - Pole Vault - MWCR Men
Renaud Lavillenie, Nike, 5.70m, 18-08.25
On competition ….
“It was good to have a good feeling about my rhythms. I had some good jumps. It was like a training for me. It was a good start and gave me something for the future. I jumped at the mall the other night. I jumped there last year, but it is always a different experience because the people are closer.”

On switch to jumping east-west ….
“Today it was a good solution for us to switch because the wind was with us. It was sometimes crossing. It was a good wind.”

Third Place
Mark Hollis
On the conditions….
“It’s a little tricky being in the stadium. Leading up into the meet, we were looking at the forecast and they were saying we would have an east wind, which is a direction we haven’t gone before. It is a little bit tricky, even if you have the wind at your back in the stadium. It’s fun to rise up to the challenge.”

On his performance ….
“I think this early in the year and jumping at the mall on Wednesday and having the result that I had today and finishing third, it is just great. I am very happy with it.”

On what’s next …
“Next week I will compete in Bloomington, Ind., and in May I will go to Asia to do a few meets over there.”

2:15 p.m. - 100 Meters - UD/CD Women Final
Jura Levy, Women’s, Senior, Oklahoma Baptist, 11.63
On Tall Green Striped Socks…
“I just like tall socks.”

On Race Strategy…
“I focus on my starts.  I don’t usually have good starts, but today I did.”

On Goal for Race…
“I wanted to beat my time.  I didn’t end up doing that, but I won the race, so thats fine.”

2:10 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Women
Tiffany Ross Williams, adidas, 55.53
On her goals for today ….
"For me to come out and win this race is a big stepping stone because we have Diamond League coming up. These last three years have been a real struggle for me.  And when you're use to winning but I had a baby (2010). So to be back to be on top feels great. I finally had my race together.

Her strategy for today….
"I knew this was in me because my training has been going really well. My steps are finally back on and I'm getting my rhythm back and I'm back with my coach who I ran my personal best with. "

Second Place
Nickiesha Wilson, Jamaica, 55.68
On how the race went today….
“I felt good. I went out and executed. I did all that I needed done. It was successful.”

On running at the Drake Relays….
“It is always good to have support when I’m out competing, but you have to be careful and keep your focus.”

Third Place
Lashinda Demus, Nike, 55.97
On her first Drake Relays ….
“The field was great and the crowd was great. I just didn’t perform very well, but I heard so many things about the track and expected to run well here. My training suggested that I would run well, but I’m disappointed in the outcome.

On her race strategy ….
“I wanted to work on what I’ve been working on in practice. It was my first open race, so I wanted to put to test what I’ve been training on. It didn’t come out well.”

On what is next  …
“I will go to Doha for one of the first Diamond League race and will compete there.”

Fourth Place
Shevon Stoddart, Puma, 56.22
"This is my first time competing at Drake and I'm really happy running a season best. I didn't compete in the 2013 World Championships, so to beat out one of the Moscow finalists here (Nickiesha Wilson) I feel good about it."

Seventh Place
Dawn Harper-Nelson, 12.87
"My start was ok but then I clipped a hurdle and it was over. it was a bad race.  My goals this year are to run a personal best and to execute my event."

2:02 p.m. - Mile - Special Men
Aman Wote, Unattached, 3:53.39
On his overall race ….
“The conditions were good, but it was a hard race. I’m the winner, I’m very happy that I won. I like racing in America and am thankful to be here.”

Third Place
Pat Casey, Oregon Track Club, 4:00.86
On the race ….
“Everyone was saying it would be fast, and it was windy, so I thought not a lot of people would go with the pacer. I wanted to run smart, it felt smooth the whole race. I came up short in the Grand Blue MIle, and couldn't get second today. I just have to take another step in the right direction

On his race strategy….
“I wanted to get in the mix of things and close hard.”

On the atmosphere at Drake…
“It was awesome, standing room only. Any meet you can get that many people for is and get such competitive race is awesome. I hope to be back next year.

12th Place
Ty Mulder, 4:07.73
Orange City, Iowa, native
"I was supposed to settle within pack but I found myself getting out easy which is good for the 800 but at this distances I found myself in the front where I didn't want to be. I'm not  quite  strong  to hang around  a runner like Wote (winner Aman) so I was trying to let up and was hoping for someone to pass me and no one did until the 1200 mark. At that point you're tired from being in front with the wind so I didn't have much of a kick left." 

On 2014 his goals
"It would have been nice to set a personal best here which was my goal but given the conditions it wasn't bad. I wanted to run this so I wouldn't get stale in the 800. I'll have a lot of racing in the next month."

1:50 p.m. - 800 Meters - UC/CD Men Final
Chris Low, Junior, Long Beach State, 1:51.74. 
Low was also part the fourth place Sprint Medley Relay.
On the race…
“I made a move with about 200 meters to go. My coach said to get in position with 200 meters to go and that is what I did. I was racing to win. My coach to told me not to worry about time and just get the win. The whole experience was fantastic.”

1:45 p.m. - High Jump - MWCR Women
Champion Chaunte Howard-Lowe, Nike, 6-05 (1.96m)
On returning after maternity leave ….
“I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a coin toss. I have been training really, really hard, but I hadn’t had any great competitions up to this point. I had two small ones just to see where my steps were. This week I came and jumped at Hy-Vee. That was exciting. To come out here and take the win made me feel like I still have the juice. The last real competition I had was in Belgium in 2012 right after the Olympic Games.”

On running at Drake ….
“I always like to start my season here. The crowd is awesome, the weather is awesome.”

On Prize money …
“This is the first time I have jumped against competition from overseas. I saw competitors from Sweden, Nigeria, Spain. Usually don’t have get to see them until we go over there. Adding the prize money has been able to bring in the high caliber talent. I know the talent gets split between here and the Penn relays, but they say I like to go there, but I want some of that prize money. That is what I have been wanting all these years.”

Second Place
Inika McPherson, Unattached, 1.96, 6-05

On competition ….
“It was a great day. I thought it might be raining. But the Drake fans get behind you. It’s a great place to compete and hear the crowd. It was a great day and I got a PR. I like great competition. It makes me want to do better. It was great start. I will be in Shanghai in three weeks.”

1:43 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - UC/CD Mens Final
Jack Bergstrom, Johnston, JR
Defending champion in the event
On winning…
Bergstrom: “One title is special, two is really incredible.”

On motivation…
Bergstrom: “I did this for my grandpa really who died in October. Winning was definitely for him so I find that really special. I had that image in my head when I was running this one.”

On winning last year…
Bergstrom: “My Grandpa was here last year when I won and he was definitely my biggest supporter. It was just that extra push to work harder to get that second one in a row.”

1:35 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - HS Girls Final
Sarah Plock, Junior, Iowa City City High School, 62.38
Plock is the defending champion of this event, her second year winning. However, her time was a 1:01 last year, making her one second slower this year.
On the final stretch (close to Carly Donahue) ….
“We were really pushing each other, I knew she was one of my best competitors. I think you just had to gut it out on the last 100 stretch.”

On repeating her win ….
“It was definitely a lot of pressure coming in to hold that position, but I used that as momentum to do it again and keep getting faster and faster.”

On having a sprinting kick in the last 100 when the race is close …
“I like being even with people more than ahead or behind...If you have someone next to you, you can push yourself and get an even better time than you would have if you were just in first.”

On being a Drake Relays Champion …
“It’s a big honor to do this twice. It’s an honor in itself just coming here being in the top eight, but to win is so awesome.”

1:30 p.m. - Shot Put - UC/CD Men Final
Kurt Jensen, Senior, Illinois State

On his overall performance
“Honestly, it wasn’t my best day, but at the end of the day it is about finding a way to win.”

On his winning throw ….
“I was down heading into the fifth round, the second throws of the finals, and I had to find a way to make it happen. It wasn’t my best technical throw, but to go out and throw it as hard as you can and hope it goes far enough to win.”

On winning a Drake Relays title...
“It was good as we hard a hard time throwing in the ring. To be able to figure it out towards the end of the meet and throw something big was really good.”

1:23 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - UC/CD Men Final
Michael Stigler, Kansas, (49.47):
"It was a little rocky race for me. It was a great field of athletes. But I ran to compete but I  didn't execute. I stuttered a lot on the first half of my race which probably cost me a 48-second race. But you learn from today. Overall I got the win in my first Drake Relays which is a great accomplishment.

On watching Moscow Rematch Men's 110-meter hurdles Friday night: 
"It inspired me a lot because I'm really close with Bershawn Jackson. It gave me a boost to watch those guys run, knowing that I'm next in line to be out there with those guys. I'm in good shape now. Once we start backing off the weight room and take the intensity off our workouts, starting tapering down my times will drop. 

On NCAA Championships 
"You're always looking toward NCAAs. An NCAA title is in my grasp. I just have to execute, continue pay attention to my coach and details, focus and the NCAAs will take care of themselves.”

1:10 p.m. - Distance Medley Relay - UD Women Final
Champion -Washington, 11:09:59
Katie Knight FR, Kayla Stueckle SR, Eleanor Fulton SO, Katie Flood SR
On title
Flood: “This is a lot of fun, I think everyone reached their top performance today and it always a fun team to celebrate with.”

On competing on her home track
Flood: “It’s always a great feeling, I am very lucky to get that opportunity and come back to my home track, I’m appreciative of doing so well here.”

On the winning results
Knight: “ You know,  it’s definitely good to earn the win, coming on the last 200 meters it was a little bit surprise, but it is what it is, and everybody feels it and it’s okay.”

1:02 p.m. - 1,600 - HS Boys Final
Josh Evans, Jr., Linn Mar, 4:10.76.
Evans time, 4:10.76, broke his 2013 meet record 4:10.86
On the race:
“The pace started out insane. Before the race the Boone guys were talking about taking it out hard. At the end Thomas Pollard was able to keep the pace hot and I was able to hang on.”

On the meet record:
“It feels great. I was just out there having fun; regardless of the time. Having a lot of people to race against does not happen that often. This meet is huge. You never get used to the atmosphere. It is cool with so many people yelling and screaming.”

12:55 p.m. - 1,500 Meters - HS Girls Final
Stephanie Jenks, Sr.,  Linn Mar, 4:28.7.
Jenks just missed the meet record 4:28.3 Jenks also won the Girls High School 3000. She also won the 2013 high school girls 1500 and 3000.
On missing the meet record:
“I am pretty happy with my race, even though I did not get the state record by a small margin. I thought it would be cool to get two records. That was the plan. I am up for any challenge. If you ask me to do something, I will do my best to do it. My legs were not too tired today. I think the 800 yesterday loosened them up. I have felt good all week.”

12:40 p.m. - Distance Medley Relay - UD Men Final
Champion – Texas-El Paso, 9:35:45
Cosmas Boit FR, Abiola Onakoya SR, Daniel Tarango SO, Anthony Rotich JR
Defending Champions of  the Men’s Distance Medley at the Drake Relays
On winning today…
Rotich: “It really feels good because last year we won here and we were trying to regain our title.”
Tarango: “I was just trying to stay in the race, I got it off in first place so I was just trying to maintain somewhere in the top- three somewhere in the top two even first.”

On inspiration for the race…
Onakoya: “The crowd, the coaches, and we do it for ourselves.” 

12:35 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - UC/CD Men Final
Champion - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 56.39
Durell Busby (SR), Nate Pozolinski (FR), Jordan Schmidt (JR), Dexter Schleis (SR)
Won the event last year
On what they were thinking during the race ….
Schmidt: “We ran a really good race, even better than last year, so I feel pretty good about it.”

On being Drake Relays Champions ….
Pozolinski: “It’s awesome. I’m a freshman on the squad, these guys are all upperclassmen, so they’ve been working with me. They told me how awesome it was last year, and it lived up to it. It was the greatest thing in the world.”

On their goals for the rest of the season ….
Schleis: “Our ultimategoal is to win conference and then try to qualify for national meets.”

12:30 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - UC/CD Women Final
Champion - Purdue, 54.85
Devynne Charlton (FR), Ciana Tabb (SR), Cierra Brown (SO), Shantyra Delaney (FR)
On goals
Tabb:  “Winning, of course!  We wanted to be in the top three, at least.”

On their race strategy
Brown:  “We wanted to put our strongest up front so that we would have a good lead.”

12:25 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - HS Boys Final
Champion - Waukee, 56.40

Josh Brdicko, SR, Kalen Renshaw, SO, Scott Stanley, SR, Jared Brdicko, SR
On subbing for Noah Larrison ….
Renshaw: “I found out this morning I was running. I received a text last night to be prepared. Noah was injured yesterday. I received the text that I would find out who would run this morning. I got here this morning and found out I was running and I was really pumped. I was laying on a bench (in the fieldhouse) asleep when I found out.”

On Waukee tradition ….
Jared Brdicko: “I was a freshman and I remember watching the seniors going about their work and they were running crazy times. I thought if I could be part of that dynasty I thought it would be awesome. Last year again this year to be in this position. It kind of scared us when our other runner couldn’t run, but Renshaw stepped in. Our coaches have been helping all of us, hurdle brothers.”

On running third leg ….
Stanley: “It is always nerve-wracking running the Drake Relays Saturday afternoon in prime time. It was obviously great competition. There were teams we hadn’t run against all year. We were running all together and the third leg is usually the one that gets the separation. I wanted to give our team the lead and allow him to run the anchor leg against the high hurdle champion (Sydne Davis of Des Moines Roosevelt).

12:20 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - HS Girls Final
Urbandale - 62.41 (Drake Relays Record)
Sydney Lafrentz Jr., Mallary Erbes Jr., Jessie Hovey Jr., Mary Young Sr.
Urbandale won the shuttle hurdle relays in a Drake Relays record time after Mt. Pleasant was disqualified.

On waiting after the race ….
Young: “It was the longest time of my life. There were a lot of emotions thinking we lost. We came in wanting to win so bad. When she came in and told us about them, (Mt. Pleasant) being disqualified, I felt bad for them, but then again I realized that makes us Drake Relays champions. It was the best feeling ever.”

On how the team found out that Mt. Pleasant was disqualified ….
Young: “When we were walking, the lady that does the awards told us not to leave so soon. We thought she wanted to interview us. She told us that they (Mt. Pleasant) got disqualified we lost it all crying and we were so excited.”

On winning the Drake Relays title ….
Erbes: “It was like the best feeling that all of our hard work, we thought it was done. It was what we were looking for all season, and the fact that we won, is just the best feeling.”

On if they were in the Mt. Pleasant’s shoes… 
Lafrentz: “If we were in their position, we would be pretty devastated. I felt bad for them. They ran a really good race.” 

11:17 a.m. - 800 Meters - Masters Women
Chris Gentile, 44, Jane’s Elite Racing, 2:24.97
It is the second year of  the women’s masters 800 and Gentile’s first Drake appearance.
On his race ...
“I wanted to set the record, but the wind was a little stronger than I thought it would be. The record is not too steep to get. Hopefully, next year I will be able to come back and get it.” 

On running at Drake ...
“I am so honored as a master to finally get here. In college I ran at Villanova and we always ran at the Penn Relays. When I moved out west I would always got to Mt. Sac, the week before Drake. I ran Mt. Sac last week. I did not care about getting on a plane. I was just so excited about finally getting to the world famous Drake Relays.”


11:05 a.m. - 4x800 - CD Women Final
Champion - Lincoln (MO), 8:52.53
Willomena Williams So., Jhevere Hall So., Ebony Rose So., Monique Thompson Jr.
On being a Drake Relays Champion….
Hall: “I feel like I’m at the Olympics.”

On their goals for the rest of the season..
Thompson: “We plan to train hard and we plan to take the victory for the outdoor conference title and also the nationals.”


10:53 a.m. - 3,000-Meter Steeplechase - UC/CD Men Final

Jeffrey Mettler, Senior, University of South Dakota, 8.51.95
On being a Drake Relays champion ...
“It feels amazing getting to do that victory lap was the greatest things ever.

On the rest of the season ...
“I would like to win the steeple again at conference, I've won every year so far so winning all four would be really awesome and I want to make that second round it's eluded me so far but all American status would be a great way to finish my college career.”

On his mindset coming into the race ... 
During this week I just didn't feel like I was mentally prepared for it but maybe that was a good thing because I was stressed out but I wasn't stressed out about racing so I just came out here and wanted to win but was just going to see what happened and it worked out!


10:40 a.m. - 3,000-Meter Steeplechase - UC/CD Women Final

Courtney Frerichs, Unattached, 9:50.42
On being a Drake Relays champion...
Frerichs: “Amazing! It is such an amazing meet and it has so much tradition that to be able to come out and win is just awesome. I feel great! I was just hoping for the win and to find out I got the record too is great!”

On how it feels beating the record by seven seconds ...
Frerichs: “So great! I had a little bit of a rough indoor season and I just wanted to attack the outdoor and to be able to come out here and get the PR and get a win and get the win is exactly the start I needed.”

On being an unattached athlete..
Frerichs: “It’s a little harder not having your team here to really get you going, but the crowd here was so amazing that every corner I turned I had people cheering me on so it was like having my team here.” 


10:20 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - UD Men Final
Champion - Georgia, 3:18.22  

Brandon Thompson Fr., Reggie Glover Fr., Derrick White Fr., Charles Grenthen, Jr., 3:18.22.
It was Georgia”s third straight win in the event. Grenthen was the 2013 anchor, too.
On the race...
Grenthen: “We were in third when I got the baton. I like be in that position. I can stay relaxed and feed off the other runners. I have competed a lot against Tomas Squella, of Arkansas. I knew what I was getting into. I just tried to be behind him. My teammates put me in reach to win.”

“It was kind of tricky the last 50 meters, but I knew I had it in me. I am just happy to win here. Georgia has a great tradition of coming here and running a fast sprint medley relay. I am happy with everything.”

10:00 a.m. - High Jump - UC/CD Men Final
Second Place
Trevor James, Sr. Carthage, 7-2.5
On his goal at the Relays ….
“I’m very ecstatic about my performance, but of course I’m not content. I had some good shots at the Division III record and I’m excited about what’s to come.”

On clearing a personal best at the Relays
“It’s a blessing, honestly. I’m at a loss for words. It’s great to come out and compete against these guys. They drive my performance and you strive to try to beat them. It’s good to come here and compete against some of the best in the country.”

10:00 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - UD Women Final
North Dakota State  - 3:47.73
Antoinette Goodman, Morgan Milbrath, Ashley Tingelstad, Paige Stratioti
On the last 100 meters of the race...
Stratioti: “I tried to focus and execute. I knew I had it for my teammates. It is easier running with a baton, I don’t know what it is about a baton, but it gives you a euphoric feeling for your teammates. I kicked it into gear, found my gear and took it home.”

On .beating bigger schools at the Drake Relays…
Stratioti: “Before this year, it would have felt like a lot of pressure, but we made NCAAs in the 4x400 indoors, so that has given us a lot more confidence. We are confident in each other, we know what we are capable are, and we were confident heading into today

On wining a title at the Drake Relays….
Stratioti: “It’s one of my favorite meets of all time. There’s nothing like it. We have gotten lucky with weather, it’s absolutely beautiful here. There’s nothing like the crowd here.”

9:50 a.m. - 4x800 - HS Boys Final
Monticello - 7:51.46
Ben Ahlrichs Sr., Nick Meyers Sr., Matt Manternach So., Michael Melchert Sr.
On winning at the Drake Relays….
Ahlrichs: “It feels great. We saw the lead Matt was able to get and I turned to Michael (anchor) and said you got this.”

On being a smaller school and beating several big schools ….
Melchert: “It’s pretty exciting. We know that we are aren’t as big of a school with the facilities they have and all the places they have to run. But we can compete with anybody.”

9:35 a.m. - 4x800 - HS Girls Final
Champion - Assumption, 9:23:78
Kennedy King (SR), Mallory King (SO), Clare Carroll (JR), Joy Ripslinger (FR)
On improving their time...
Ripslinger:  “Earlier in the season, the same group… we ran the 4x800.  From that day, we cut off a lot of time.  It just shows the improvement that we’ve had.”

On running a relay with her sister ...
Mallory King:  “We say we’re sisters first, teammates second, and competitors third.  We always push each other-- we’re our biggest fans and opponents at the same time.”

9:20 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - CD Men Final
Champion - Iowa Western Community College, 3:24.67
Corneil Lionel, SO, Henry Offiah, SO, Strymar Livingston, FR, Andre Hosey, SO.
On running from lane 8 ….
Lionel: “At home we practice in lane one and eight so we felt at home. I like lane eight.”
Offiah: I always get stuck in lane eight so I felt I was at home.”
Livingston: “In the third leg you have to cut over to lane one. For me that’s a lot of work. We were practicing to do cuts in so it felt good giving my teammate the baton in first.”
Hosey: “My teammates did all the work and I had to maintain it. My teammate told me to go and I am just focused down the track to the finish line.”

On the race ….
Lionel: “Felt good. It was a warm-up before the 4-by-4.”

On receiving a Drake flag…
Livingston: “We have been working hard this year so we knew good things would happen to us.”

9:00 a.m. - Discus - UC/CD Men Final
Champion Gabe Hull, Jr., Iowa, 60.05m, 197-00
Hull was second to Jordan Williams of Northern Iowa by two centimeters at the 2013 Relays
On winning versus finishing second last year ….
“Last year I was competing against a close friend of mine. That was tough to lose to my friend. It hurt a little last year. It was eating me up inside. This is an elite track competition. Last year, not performing as well I thought I should have was just tearing me up.”

On difference from last year ….
“Last year I lost by two centimeters to Jordan Williams. Since then I have put on weight, about 40 pounds, and have trained a little harder. I am on what I call a see food diet. I see it, I eat it. My workouts consist of eating, lifting and eating. The coaches have been hounding me to put on the weight. There is a science behind it. Getting bigger, more momentum gets better throws.”

On conditions …
“The conditions were pretty good. We had a crosswind, which is good. It was sunny then cloudy so it was okay. This is the stepping to the Big Ten Championships. Hopefully I will have another good meet. This was my second best throw of the season.”


8:35 p.m. - 4x800 - UD Men Final

Champion - Washington

Derrick Daigre, Nick Harris, Bradley Whitley, Izaic Yorks 7:18.59

On the final lap...

Yorks: “We all came here to race, that was my intention. Going up against a guy like Patrick Rono you know you are going to be up against some tough competition. But when you have such teammates like these, you can do anything.”

On his race strategy ….

Yorks: “I have been gunning, whether it’s in a 800 or a relay to go under 1:50. Winning it and doing that, and having the boost of confidence, it’s the best feeling.”

On competing at the Drake Relays for the first time...

Yorks: “There are so many things that are overwhelming. But when you are in a relay like this, your first thought is just what you can do for your team. That was my big thought.”

8:25 p.m. - 1,500 Meters - MWCR Women


Hellen Obiri, Kenya, 4:04.88

On running at the Drake Relays for the first time...

Obiri: “Yes, it was a fast outdoor time for me, and I think it was a good time for me.”

Her thoughts on her race...

Obiri: “I was very pleased with how I ran and to win. There were some fast people and I did not expect to win so it was a hard fought win.

On being a Drake Relays Champion…

Obiri: “I’m so pleased to have won and I hope to come back again in the future.”

Second Place

Brenda Martinez, New Balance, 4:06.96

On returning back to the Drake Relays

Martinez: “It was great to be back, I loved running the 4x800 relay here with UC Riverside. It brought back a lot of memories, thinking about racing Minnesota and Baylor every year so it was nice to be back.”

On her race….

Martinez: “The pace was really comfortable from the start and I felt good about it, but I think we settled for a slower pace. I tried not to panic and rush to the front, I took my time working my way to the front and I think with 600m to go I told myself I had to get into a position to contend and go all out.”

2012 U.S. Olympian Morgan Uceny, sixth, 4:08.68

"The mental part was definitely a component. I hurt my back when I left and took longer than I expected to recover. I know I didn't fish well, but I think i raced aggressively. I was going for the win and just faded that last 100. So all in all, I'm happy with starting this early with a 4:08. "Last year was just really tough, coming off that fall (World Championships). I was dealing with a lot of injuries. Last year I ran 4:18 here (Drake Relays) and dealing with iron issues." 2013 U.S. Indoor 3000 champ Gabriele Grunewald, 11th 4:17.66

 "It was an exciting race up front. Unfortunately, today was not my day. I've been  having a little bit of a rough go starting my training after the indoor season. I just need to regroup after today. I wanted to have a real solid effort. I've had really good training but its just a matter of getting pop back in the legs to feel good in a race. I didn't exactly to accomplish that today. I'm going to do a road mile in Minneapolis on May 8 to knock the rust off. "It was really exciting to see so many Americans running well… I'll have my work cut off for me."

8:10 p.m. - 4x800 - UD Women Final

Purdue, Bre’Anna Smith Sr., Megan Plenus Sr., Kiara McIntosh Fr., Kari Shoolbraid Jr., 8:34.19

New Purdue school-record

On tonight’s race strategy….

Smith: “We were trying to win each leg and then when it came down to Kari (Shoolbraid) we knew she had it.”

Shoolbraid: “Three of us are seniors and we wanted to go out with a bang our senior year. Then we also had a freshman (Kiara McIntosh) on the third leg who had a nice kick at the end.”

On running down the homestretch in the lead….

Shoolbraid: “I kind of knew I had it, but I didn’t want to get too passive and have someone come up on me. When I was going around the last curve I kept checking the scoreboard to see how far she was from me.”

On the atmosphere of Drake Relays….

Plenus: “We’ve been here one year before, but I thought the race was really cool to be underneath the lights and hear everyone cheering it was great.”

Shoolbraid: “I’ve never been here before so I thought it was pretty cool. The atmosphere tonight was a lot better than last night when we got to the meet.”

McIntosh: “I thought the atmosphere was great, better than anything I’ve ever experienced. It was fun.”

8:00 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Men

Michael Tinsley, Nike, 48.57

Defending Drake Relays champion. Won the 2012 London Games Rematch. Captured the silver medal this past summer in Moscow at the 2013 World Championship.


On defending his Relays title ….

“It was a great honor. I ran here several times. Had USA Trials here (Drake Stadium) and I won that. This is my season opener so it was good to open on a fast track. It was good to come out early and have a good race.”


On going against such a deep, talented field this early in the season ….

“I was kind of nervous coming out against a deep field this early. Usually you have a couple of meets to get your races under you before you go against the big cats. Today you have to come out ready to run.”


On the atmosphere….

“It was nice. As soon as I came out and seeing the stands full , people cheering my name, yelling the other athletes’ names, it was nice.”


Second Place

Javier Culson, Puerto Rico, 48.68


Third Place

Johnny Dutch, USA, 49.24


On how the race went ….

“It felt good. Nice weather. Pretty good day. I wasn’t able to execute the last part of my race because of an injury I’ve been battling. I just wasn’t able to finish the race way I wanted to.”

7:43 p.m. - 4x200 - UD Men Final

Champion - Georgia
Jamario Calhoun, Jonathan Smith, Reggie Glover, Maurice Freeman, 1:22.50

On what it means to be a Drake Relays Champion
Smith: “It’s always fun to be here, I was just hoping to get one of those flags to.”

On the feeling of the big crowd at the Drake Relays

Glover: “It’s a big confidence booster.”

Smith: “I think its the only relay that actually does that, maybe at Penn too but we haven’t run that, [Drake] is the only relay we’ve been to that has that opportunity to run in front of such a big crowd.”

7:35 p.m. - 400 Meters - MWCR Men


First Place

LaShawn Merritt, Nike, 44.44

 Raced on the Blue Oval this past summer at the USA Championships. First time competing at the Drake Relays.


On what went on in the race ….


“Kirani was on my outside. I knew it was going to be a great race. It was one of the most serious races I’ve ever ran this early in the season and with the field and whole world championship rematch on top of it. I knew everyone was going to come prepared. My mental part was there. I’m feeling good.”


On winning….


“It was a little tough with the windy conditions. I got that win so I’m satifisied. My goal was to come out and the get the win.”


On competing at the Drake Relays for the first time...


“First time at Drake. The crowd was awesome. I like how they cheered my name before I started. Great atmosphere. I definitely will be back next year.”


Second Place - Kirani James


2012 Olympic gold medalist, 44.60

"I'm happy with my effort. That's the fastest I've ever opened the outdoor season. So my training it right on schedule. This was a tremendous field to run against so early in the outdoor season. Then you add the exciting atmosphere at the Drake Relays which makes you want to perform well." "You have to run a better 200 if you want to have a chance against him (Merritt). Once he's out in front in the last 80 meters he's very hard to catch because he's very experienced and he's very strong and a very good athlete."

Third Place

Luguelin Santos, Dominican Republic, 44.72


2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2013 World Championships Bronze Medalist


On today’s race ….


“It started off very good. The race was nice. [LaShawn] Merritt is very talented and tough to race against.”


On his new season best….


“That was a good time for this early in the year.”


On training for 2014 …


“This year is about recouping.”


7:15 p.m. - 4x200 - UD Women Final

Champion Notre Dame


Kaila Barber, Margret Bamgbose, Michelle Brown, Aijah Urssery, 1:34:54


On what they were thinking during the race:

Brown: “Well we just really wanted to get a good start.”

Bamgbose: “Kaila got off to a really great first 200.”

Brown: “And Aijah just brought it home.”


On the competition….

Brown: “We didn’t really know who we were gonna go up against. We knew there were going to be some fast schools in there so we knew it was going to be tough and it was going to take a lot of effort.”


Bamgbose: “I think we were all a little nervous, we just really wanted to get out there and have fun.”

7:05 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - Special Women


Bri Rollins, Lolo Jones, Queen Harrison, Vashti Thomas, 50.93

Lolo Jones on how it felt to run competitively for the first time in a while ...

Jones:  “It’s always fun to come home and race and get the first one under you. This one was really thrilling because it was a shuttle and I was running with a team that was a new match up for all of us, so that was fun.”

Lolo Jones on continuing the “team” mentality from bobsledding to the shuttle relay

Jones: “It was weird because in bobsledding we have this saying, ‘We’re a team within a team’ because I can’t help them drive, just like I can’t help these girls get over the hurdles, but together we are a team. We all give our best efforts and we’ll have a good race all together so it was very similar to bobsledding.”

Lolo Jones on being a “spectator” after her leg

Jones: “It was interesting because [Bri] Rollins gave us a great start, but then when it was my turn, I made like, the biggest hurdle mistake and I stutter stepped to nine on a seven-step approach which is almost unheard of in a hurdle race, basically sitting in a coffin and your race is over, so when I crossed the line I was ready to hand it off to Queen. If it had been an individual race, Lolo would be in last (laughs).”

Queen Harrison on her handoff from Lolo Jones

Harrison: “I was a little nervous when I saw the one jump over the hurdle of Lolo’s (laughs) but overall I thought it was a great race for all of us and I think everyone did what they could do today. All of us put everything on the line and I’m happy with the result. It’s hard to complain with a win.”

Lolo Jones on waving the Drake Relays Champion flag

Jones: “A win is always a win. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slow time, a fast time, you get to walk away with the extra adrenaline of a win.”

Lolo Jones on running for her Des Moines fans

Jones: “You know, it felt great, I just wish I wouldn’t have messed up the start. I feel like I’m good shape and I feel powerful from bobsledding but I feel like I let the team down a little bit and we could have run a little faster.”

Harrison: “I’m just glad she finished the race if she would have bailed out after that first hurdle then I really would have killed her (laughs).”

Queen Harrison on running this event in the future

Harrison: “I think it’s a really fun event and I was really upset they didn’t include the shuttle hurdles at the World Relays Championship in the Bahamas. We are going to keep putting up these times and pretty soon we won’t be denied but as long as they keep having it at Drake, I’ll keep coming.”

6:43 p.m. - 110-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Men


Hansle Parchment, Jamaica, 13.14

2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist; 110H PR of 13.05 set in 2013. Tonight’s time is a new world-leading mark.


On returning to the Drake Relays ….

“I was here last year as well, where I finished in last place. It wasn’t so great. I was happy to come out here and win today.”


On his first race of the season ….

“I didn’t expect to have such a fast time, I was thinking somewhere between 13.4 or 13.5, so this race opened my eyes that I can run even faster. Today was the first race and we usually don’t run so quickly on the first time out, we usually build up as the season goes on, so this time was a good start.”


On training in 2014 …

“The main focus of 2014 is getting 100% healthy. With next year being the World Championships, staying healthy is the main focus.”


On his hamstring injury ….

“Last year I had some hamstring issues still from high school, but I am good now. Today was an eye opener. I don’t want to go too hard now since it’s an off-season. I want maintain health so I can compete next year in the best form I can.”


David Oliver, 2013 World champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, second, 13.23.


"I started pretty well. But I know I ran into some major trouble somewhere around the fourth, fifth or sixth hurdles. It's just early in season  You have to try to get things going. I'm running faster every time I take to the track this year . Last year it took me to the Prefontaine Classic to run the kind of times I'm running this year so things are pointing in right direction. You have to bring your "A" game out every time you compete. The shuttle hurdle will be fun getting together with the guys. It should be cool and exciting for fans to watch.


Andrew Riley, former two-time NCAA champion, fifth, 13.35


"It wasn't my best because I twisted ankle in March at the World Indoor   and that was the one I pull out of the box. So I was trying to get out and stay there but in the middle I hit a couple hurdles and that threw me big time. I'm still trying to get racing sharp because I missed a lot of training with my ankle injury.


Tomorrow will be different. It was good to get a race out of the way and get a feel for the track."


6:00 p.m. - High Jump - MWCR Men


Derek Drouin, Nike, 7-10.5

Breaks Drake Relays, Drake Stadium, and Canadian national record.

On breaking Drake Relays Director Brian Brown’s record at his own event …

“It’s cool, as long as he’s okay with it, I guess. I think it was with the field they brought in it was bound to be broken, it was only a matter of time.”   

On what it was like battling against Erik Kynard and Dusty Jonas …

“It was as good as a competition as you will find anywhere. In Moscow last year, World Championships, it showed the direction the event is heading, we had three guys make 2.38, and it looks like that tier of event is not going anywhere. It looks like its here to stay”

On this being his first meet of the year, setting a personal best, and how it sets up 2014 …

“I tried to open the season indoors, and injured myself a little bit, so I’m starting a lot later than I ever have before so I’ve gotten a lot of training in. I think with it not being a championship season, it gives us a chance to relax, so things like this sometimes happen.

Second Place

Erik Kynard, Nike, 7-8.5

On the evening ….

“It was a great night. It was a season-opener for me. While I am not satisfied with second no matter how well I did, but 7-8.5 is really good. It is going to be a crazy year. He (winner Derek Drouin) jumps 7-10.5, everyone is jumping well, so it is going to be a crazy year. It’s a competition. Once one guy goes over then you have to go over. You have to be patient and focus on the bar and create your own favorable position. You have to remain in tune and focus on you.”

On the experience ….

“I was focused on what I was doing. I was like Vin Diesel in ‘Fast and Furious.’ I didn’t even watch the meet really. I was looking at my mark and focusing on jumping well. All in all it was a good start for me and looking forward to see what the year is going to bring.”

Third Place

Dusty Jonas, USA, 7-8.5

Top three broke former stadium record of 7-7 set by Drake Relays Director Brian Brown in 1997, and tied by Jonas in 2011

On the event ….

“That was amazing. I love the fans here. I am from just down the road (Lincoln, Nebraska) and even though I‘m from south Texas, but I feel the Midwest is my new home. They are a great crowd and they love their track and field. They were loud and in to it.”

On the excitement of the Moscow rematches in pole vault and high jump ….

“I didn’t realize all the excitement. half the time I didn’t even know where I was at. I just came to have fun. I am coming off an injury and I was just focusing on what I was doing.”

On the record …

“We went over the record three times, but you needed to go over four times. I was tied with that mark since 2011, but I knew it was going down tonight. After I cleared 7-08.5 I said if he clears the next one it will be on. I don’t think anyone is going to touch that 7-10.5. It was a special night. He (Brian Brown) was giddy. He was just giddy. He puts on a great meet. The whole week is great.”

5:45 p.m. - Pole Vault - MWCR Women

Yarisley Silva, Cuba, 15-3.5

On the competition today ...

“I am very happy because I have been here before and the meet went well.”

On jumping while the Moscow Rematch High Jump was on ….

“I am really happy because I could see them jump high and it made it difficult because it was happening right in front of me.”

On headwind in final jumps …

“First there was no wind, but then we had the wind and it made it more difficult because there was more force. Before there was no wind, but I have jumped in it before.”

On delays ….

“It was the same, it gave me more time to prepare. More space between allows me more time to prepare for the vault. I make one height then it gives me more time to prepare for the next jump. I jumped well and jumped high because I had that time to prepare.”

Second Place

Mary Saxer, Unattached, 14-7.5

On the jump rounds ….

“The early rounds were good, but then the wind got switchy. You could wait and get a favorable wind, but when it go to the third and fourth height we had a straight headwind. That was a little tricky. We both cleared on our third attempt. I felt like I competed, but did not jump as high as I wanted, but it was a great job.”

On competing by the high jumpers ….

“Definitely. They would get the claps going then we would get the claps going it created more energy. I feel like with my training I am jumping well and I think I am off to a good start this season. I jumped in the mall on Wednesday as my second time out. Sometimes in the pole vault your height misses early don’t reflect how you feel. Wednesday I felt really good, but did not jump as well as I wanted. It was my fourth time to jump there.”

On delays due to fireworks malfunction …

“You have to be prepared for whatever in a competition. Actually before I went we had the national anthem, then the delay for the fireworks it was like should I have went. I don’t know. It did give me time to take a breather and be ready for the competition.”

1:51 p.m. - 800 Meters - UC/CD Women Final
Megan Malasarte, SR, Georgia, 2:03.61
On the heat today ...
“I race really well in heat, I love the heat. I have different attitudes when I go into races depending on the weather.”

On the start of the race ...
“That was miserable. I definitely got boxed in and cut off pretty fast but I used it to my advantage because I’m more of a negative splitting kind of person.”


1:45 p.m. - 800 Meters - HS Boys Final
Champion: Carter Lilly, SR, SC- East, 1:54.62
Relays Record
How do you feel to be a Relays champion?
“First I need to get away out there and do final back stretch. I was so nervous, It was so important race for me.I feel tired and so happy.”

What was your goal coming into the race  ...
“It was I guess 1:59. I wasn’t that confident coming in and by running was really trying to stay with the leaders and then finish by outrunning them.”


1:39 p.m. - 800 Meters - HS Girls Final
Kaley Ciluffo, JR, Pleasant Valley, 2:10.23
On the strategy coming into the race and then leading ...
Ciluffo: “I actually felt this was a bad workout week for me and kind of started to doubt myself.”

On a win like this boosting confidence ...
“The past two years, I knew I could win, I just didn’t. But it definitely helps knowing I can’t hold back when a win right there in front of me.”


1:27 p.m. - 4x200 - HS Boys Final
Champion: Waukee
Nihad Ejubovic Sr., Trevor Allen Jr., AJ Allen Sr., Corbin Lowe Sr., 1:27.81
On his thoughts in the final 100 meters ... 
Ejubovic: “I was nervous, but it was a great experience for us. I am just so happy, I can't wait to see my coach, my teammates and give them a hug.”

On his thoughts on crossing the finish line ...
AJ Allen: “It was exciting, it was the best race for all of us, we worked hard.  There are great teams here and we are so happy.”


1:15 p.m. - 4x200 - HS Girls Final
Champion - Assumption
Emma Bassier SR, Maddie Irmen SR, Rose Ripslinger SR, Markel Mommsen, 1:41.71
On what’s going through your mind in the third hear …
Bassier: “The only thing going through my mind was to run best and focus on our handoffs because that is where we can gain the most ground.

On competing at Drake ...
Bassier: “We all competed in the past years. Maddi, Rose and I were here last year. Markel transferred to the team and fits in really well obviously.

On how important the start of the race is ...
Bassier:  “Starting is my favorite so I love when I get to start relays. I like all technical things that go into starting the race on a good foot.”


1:03 p.m. - 4x200 - CD Men Final
Champion - Wayland Baptist
Justin Scruggs (SO), Lorenzo Dolphus (SR), Stephen Sutherland (SO), Durawn Howard (JR),  1:24.62
On being a Drake Relays champion ...
Dolphus:  “We’ve been here before, we’ve won here before, so it’s always great to come to such a great track meet-- so prestigious and difficult to cross the finish line.”

On a race strategy ...
Dolphus:  “We didn’t really have one-- we don’t get to run this race that many times, so when we came here, we came here with four fast guys.”


1:00 p.m. - Discus  - UC/CD Women Final
Mary Theisen, SR, Indiana St, 174-00 (53.03m)
Third time competing at the Drake Relays. Will throw the hammer on Saturday morning.
On being a Drake Relays Champion...
“This is my third year competing here. Honestly I didn’t think I had a chance to win until this year. I threw the shot right before and then went over immediately to the discus. It’s feel pretty good to a champion.”

On the mindset it takes to switch quickly from shot to discus ...
“The shot is so powerful. I had to relax after shot, but I still was so excited. It felt like practice going back and forth so fast. My first few throws were a little iffy then I was able to settle in.”


1:00 p.m. - High Jump - UC/CD Women Final

Erika Hurd, Sophomore, Cincinnati,
First time participating in Drake Relays.
On the weather
“This was the most perfect weather I could’ve asked for.”

On her strategy ... 
“To stay calm and keep doing what I do. My approach was my main focus today, but then when I got higher I wanted to focus on just staying straight up in the air because I usually throw myself into the bar. So I tried staying straight up in the air to clear the bar.”


12:51 p.m. - 4x200 - CD Women Final
Champion - Wayland Baptist, 1:36.03

Angie Quiah (JR), Alexis Browner (FR), Shani Adams (FR), Gortia Ferguson (SR)
On what their strategy was running the race ...
Quiah: “I started the race, I’ve been battling my knee hurting, but i just said you know what all I have to do is get out there and run as fast as I can because I want my team to be in this race, so I just went out there and did the best I could.”
Browner: “I was trying to not let the stagger get so big, and catch up so we weren't so far behind,and I did my job, and stuck to Shani, and she ran.”
Adams: “My strategy was to basically open up my stride because my coach was telling me I needed to, so that was basically what I was working on and it worked.”
Ferguson: “My strategy was just to hold what I had when Shani gave me the baton,and I don’t know, one thing in my head was just go, go , go, accelerate and beat Lincoln.”


12:45 p.m. - 800 Meters - Masters
Lance Elliott, Edina, Minn., Unattached, 2:03.50
Previously won two years ago. Ran at the Relays in 1988 and 1989 during high school.
On thoughts during the race
“I stayed back in the pack, really tried to conserve and waited until the last 100 meters to make that move.”


12:30 p.m. - Pole Vault - UC/CD Men Final
Peter Geraghty (SR), Eastern Illinois, 18-0.5
On what it felt like while vaulting …
“My speed was right, my take-off was good-- the action felt really clean.  Pole vaulting is a really simple sport.  If you can get your numbers to work right and get your legs feeling pretty good, you can generally finish a good jump every jump.”

On being a Drake Relays Champion ...
“Competing on a venue is just a really fun thing. I’ve come to Drake once before. I always have a great time here and to win it makes it more fun.”


12:28 p.m. - 100 Meters - HS Boys Final
Rico Gafford, SR, WDM Dowling Catholic, 10.62
How do you feel coming out of the box?
“I felt great. I thought I got a good start and ran hard all the way to end.

What was the feeling getting first?
“It felt good.I didn’t see anyone beside and knew I won.”


12:11 p.m. - 100 Meters - HS Girls Final
Jalynn Roberts-Lewis, Senior, Roosevelt, 12.24
Fourth year in a row a girl from Des Moines Roosevelt has won the 100 meters.
On how does it feel to be a champion?
“Awesome! All my hard work has paid off so it feels great.”

On what have you done to prepare for this …
“I just practice as hard as I can and push my limits every practice.”

On the Roosevelt sprinters consistently winning Drake Relays titles …
“I just think its really cool that we have a really big program and girls keep coming through and they want to run and everyone works hard every single day at  practice, so that helps as a team.  We are all really good friends.”


12:00 p.m. - Shot Put - UC/CD Women Final

Dani Bunch, Sr., Purdue, 56-3.75
Wins the title on her third trip to the Drake Relays.
On being a Drake Relays champion...
“It’s new and its foreign. I’m usually here with elite-level throwers. They are off doing their own thing and training for a world meet. It’s so refreshing to be the winner. It’s great and I love it.”

On what is next for her ….
“We are going to have one more meet before we get to host conference. So start preparing for that. It’s going to be awesome to host the conference meet.”


11:58 a.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - UC/CD Women Final
Champion--Alexis Franklin, So., Ohio State, 57.81

Finished second a season ago.
On how her race went in a fast heat …
“I was really happy with my time.  It was a fast heat. I got second last year so it was so great to win this year.”

On being a sophomore and a Relays Champion ...
“Yeah, I've got two more years so I hope it can only get better.”

On what it takes to get better going forward ...
“Training is what it takes to get better. I was happy with my time even though it was a little slower than last year.  Just being in the 57 range is what I wanted, but I hope to be in the 56 range yet this season.


11:40 a.m. - 110-Meter Hurdles - HS Boys Final
Sydne Davis, Sr., Des Moines Roosevelt, 12.24

First Drake Relays title.
On what it feels like to be a Drake Relays champion ...
"It feels really good because last year I fell short, I ended up winning state though in the 400-meter hurdles, but I really wanted to win the Drake Relays because this is where the main competition is at. All the classes are here not just your own class."

On what his strategy for the race was ...
"My strategy was to get out fast, maintain, keep looking straight, and try not to let anyone catch me, but I ended up catching my friend Elijah [Young of Lincoln].


11:36 a.m. - 100-Meter Hurdles - HS Girls Final

Mary Young, Senior,  Urbandale High School, 14:30
Signed to run at Drake next season.
On what motivated you for the win ...
“It was my prelims time, I think I kind of went out faster and stronger going into the finals.”

On weather and how it helped the race ... 
“As far as the whole track season, it was probably one of the most beautiful days to have Drake Relays on.”

On what point in the race you knew you were going to come in first place ...
“Most of the time with hurdles, it’s hard to tell. It’s kind of a risky race, anything can happen, but as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was just happy. I couldn’t believe that it happened.”


10:45 a.m. - 4x800 - CD Men Final
Champion - Oklahoma Baptist, 7:32.00
Travis Hinton (Jr.), Adam Godwin (Sr.), Jywayne Allen (So.), Clay Shepperson (So.)
Same team that ran and won at last year’s Relays

On how does it feel to win again ...
Clay Shepperson: “It was really awesome.  A lot of us, actually all four of us, have been dealing with injuries this year and it was great to come back and to actually and run together as a group and get to win it again.”

On how was your time compared to last year …
Clay Shepperson: “It was maybe a half second slower than last year, so it looks like we’re in good shape.”

Travis Hinton: “To come out here with injuries and run what we did, we’ll take it any day!”

On the track conditions ...
Clay Shepperson: It was so great, so much nicer than last year, a little warmer, and the track is in great shape.

On fans following the team all the way from Oklahoma ...
Travis Hinton: “We have some parents, but we got some Twitter people following us!

On finishing college career with Drake Relays win ...
Adam Godwin: “It was awesome. What a way to finish!”


10:27 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - HS Boys Final
Champion - Linn-Mar
Tristan Freese (Jr.), Daniel Gorsich (So.), Dalton Gosch (Fr.), Josh Evans (Sr.), 3:26.89

Established a Drake Relays Record

On competing with his teammates …  
Josh Evans: “This is the best feeling. When I get done I was going nuts and all these guys are running up going nuts. It’s the coolest feeling in the world. It is so much more fun winning as a team than anything individual.”

On setting a Drake Relays record as a freshman …
Dalton Gosch: “I’m just excited.  This is my first win at Drake and my first race at Drake. It feels really good. I’m just proud of my whole team right now.”

On when you handed it to Josh, knowing his pedigree, did you know you were in a good spot?
Dalton Gosch: “I knew we were in pretty good shape. Josh always goes all out.  He is a great competitor.”


10:14 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - HS Girls Final
Champion - Davenport Assumption High School
Emma Bassier (Sr.), Markel Mommsen (Sr.), Maddie Irmen (Sr.), Rose Ripslinger (Sr.), 1:45.79
On how it feels to be a Drake Relays champion ...
Emma Bassier: “Its indescribable really. It’s the biggest meet we go to all year, all season, and to win it is prestigious, and we will remember it for the rest of our lives.”

On finally breaking through after coming up just short last year at the Drake Relays ...
Emma Bassier: “No, we come every year to run, and a few of us ran on a 4x400 as sophomores that won, but last year we competed hard, but didn’t quite get what we wanted,so we came back hungry this year.”


10:00 a.m. - Distance Medley Relay - CD Women Final
Champion - Augustana (SD)
Kyle Blakeslee (Sr.), Carina Hofmeister (So.), Kayla Mescher (Jr.), Kristen Brondbo (Sr.), 11:32.87

What was going through your mind as Kristen, the anchor, was running down the final 70 meters?
Blakeslee: “I knew Kristen (Brondbo) was going to catch her. She kicks like a champ and now we are champs.”

How’s it feel to be Drake Relay champions?
Hofmeister: “We finished fourth last year but we love the crowd here at Drake. Everyone is cheering no matter where you are from. We don’t get that at meets we go to.”


9:30 a.m. - Long Jump - HS Girls Final

Jalynn Roberts-Lewis, Sr., Roosevelt, 19-0 (5.79m)
Also won the high school girls 100-meter race today
On being a multiple event winner…
“Coming from winning the long jump to the 100 was an amazing feeling and accomplishment. It’s my senior year and my third time winning the long jump in a row and I set a PR (personal record).” 


9:45 a.m. - High Jump - HS Boys Final
Jeff Giannettino, JR, West Burlington Notre Dame, 7-0 (2.13m)
How big is it to hit the 7 foot barrier?
“It’s great to keep improving and hit a PR (personal record). I’ve been wanting the 7-foot mark for a while now and it feels great to get it. Now I have to strive for even higher.”

What did you think facing likely tougher competition than you are used to seeing?
“Yeah it was tougher but I’m lucky to have Xavier (Williams; WBND teammate who finished 3rd) with me and he usually puts up a good fight. Which is good because we push each to do better. Especially we both got new PRs.”


9:05 p.m. - 5,000 Meters - Open Men’s Final
Matt McClintock, Sophomore, Purdue, 14:01:33
On his coach's advice going into tonight’s race...
“Coach sort of told me it was a rester. So to sit back and wait like I did was kind of tough. I guess it’s not really my style, I like to try and make every race fast and honest, but he wanted me to just sit back and see what I could do.”

On reactions to the first time at the Drake Relays
“Our team came out last year for the Relays, but I was at the World Junior Championships, so I stayed home for that one. The weather was phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for a better night to run. I’m really excited, now I just get to hang out and watch the rest of the weekend. Everybody shows up on Saturday for this thing. I can’t wait to get into the stadium, when it’s full with 14,000 people.”

8:40 p.m. - 5,000 Meters -  Open Women’s Final
Tricia Terry, Senior, TCU, 16:17.57
It was Terry’s first Drake Relays.

On the race ….
“My strategy was to sit on the leaders as much as possible. The pace was slower than I wanted. I went to the lead early, about halfway, because I wanted to get a good time in.”

On her first  Drake Relays ….
“I loved the Drake Relays and I liked the band. I liked the atmosphere at night and having all distance people compete. I wish I wasn’t a senior so I could come back.”


8:10 p.m. - 10,000 Meters - Open Men’s Final
Trent Lusignan, Unattached, 29:55:69
Currently redshirting at South Dakota State
On the race ...
“We were just taking it out easy the first 5k. Then you know everyone’s got to pick it up that second half. I was feeling good, feeling smooth. Nothing really bothering me too much because I stayed toward the front and made sure I was there when the move was made and I just kinda grinded it out that last mile. Just made sure I had enough gas. I don’t have enough wheels to sprint that last 400 meters, so I had to make sure I had a big cushion.”

On being a Drake Relays Champion ...
“It’s pretty prestigious, I guess. I mean, it’s one of the oldest relays out there. What is it, 105 years old now? I guess I’m on the records now, for winning a big 10k title, like that.”

On future goals …
“I am redshirting right now [at South Dakota State] and building up strength.”


7:30 p.m. - 10,000 Meters - Open  Women’s Final
Mary Alex England, Freshman, Mississippi, 34:48.66
England’s time is a school record in the 10,000 meters. It was her first time running the 10,000 meters. England defeated second-place finisher Michelle Thomas of Ohio State, by .45 seconds in her first Drake Relays.

On the win:
“It was my goal to run under 35 minutes and I did that. It was nice to see my training paying off.”

On the Drake Relays ….
“I did not know much about it. My teammates told me that it’s wild and exciting for distance events. I really liked the drums. It made everything so much faster. The weather is really nice here. It is a lot better than humid Mississippi.”

On her first 10,000 meters ….
“It was hard, but I felt really good. I like the longer distances.”


5:05 p.m. - 4x1600 - UC/CD

Men’s Final
Champion - Washington

Meron Simon SO, Nick Harris SO, Blake Nelson FR, Izaic Yorks FR
On being Drake Relays Champions….

Blake Nelson: “It feels great to do it with the team.”
Nick Harris: “It’s awesome.”
Meron Simon: “It’s pretty unreal to do it with your best friends. It’s good to put in the work and have this benchmark. It shows everyone here who’s going to be able to roll when it comes to that first round of the NCAAs. And I mean every one here.”

On each runner’s first time competing in the Drake Relays ….
Nick Harris: “This is all our first times competing in the Drake Relays.”
Blake Nelson: “I think this is the first time (Washington has come) since 2004.”
Meron Simon: “I think the last time we were here was ‘08 or ‘07, and I think last time our guys were here, we won.”

On taking home a victory after a multi-year break from Relays ….
Blake Nelson: “It feels good. I knew we could do it just putting everything together, each person running his own leg.”


4:40 p.m. - 4x1600 - UC/CD Women’s Final
Champion - Washington

Eleanor Fulton SO, Katie Knight FR, Liberty Miller JR, Katie Flood SR, 19:09:27
Notes: Flood’s girls high school 3,000 meter record was broken earlier in the day.
On being a Relay’s champion ...
Liberty Miller: “It’s exciting. There is a lot of energy here. It’s nice to fly across the country and be greeted with that energy.”
Katie Flood: “That was perfect.”

On the biggest moment for Katie Flood on that track …
Katie Flood: “Someone asked me that earlier this week and I said that I couldn’t really pinpoint it. All were very special in different ways. Coming and winning a national title was phenomenal but I think in high school there was so much that happened here with my teammates just the grit and little toughness and seeing the best in everyone.”

On coming to Drake after hearing about Relays and winning a flag ...
Liberty Miller: “I think it’s really special because the first time I came here was last year for USA’s that was the first time seeing so much action and power happen on this track. And then the next time coming here and getting to finally race on it and win a flag was really exciting.”
Katie Knight: “I just remember seeing pictures and stuff in high school, because I’m a freshman and then just seeing and being from the west coast not really ever coming over to these big east coast meets, it’s exciting to be at a different meet, a different environment. It’s very different.”
Eleanor Fulton: “I mean I’m honored I’ve always heard about the Drake Relays. It’s really cool to be able to come here as a team and do what we did. It was really fun.”

On her 3,000 meter record being broken earlier in the day by Linn-Mar’s Stephanie Jenks ...
Katie Flood: “That’s really great for her (Stephanie Jenks) and it’s a record that’s meant to be broken.”


4:25 p.m. - 3,200 Meters - HS Boys Final
Albert Meier, Senior, Boone, 8:58:46
Iowa high school record
On breaking the Drake Relays and state record ...
“I feel great. My coach just said, ‘Give it time.” We started off the year, I was kind of sick. He said, ‘Always stay calm. Always stay relaxed.’ Then at the end of the race when we were in 600 meters, I got a chance and that’s what I did and kicked it in, in the last 400.

On being the first Iowa boys high school athlete to finish under nine minutes ...
“It feels great. Just to be up there with the best, breaking 9:00 . It was my dream and I finally did it, so I’m happy.”

On the tough field of competition ...
“There was a lot of good runners in that race. Everyone did a great job. It was fast paced. We were always pushing it. Then you got an amazing training partner, like my buddy Chandler (Austin)."


4:10 p.m. - 3,000 Meters - HS Girls Final

Stephanie Jenks, Sophomore, Linn-Marr, 9:26:87
Jenks set an all-time Iowa best with the win. Katie Flood, of Dowling Catholic, set the previous Iowa best in 2010. Flood’s previous Drake Relays record was 9:43.39 set set in 2010. Jenks won the 2013 Drake Relays girls 1500 and 3000.
On Setting the record ….
“I knew what the record was going in. I knew this the year that I wanted to do because Katie Flood was here. I thought it would mean more to me and to her.I knew where I was at the entire time for setting the record.

The plan was to go out slow and go out in about 71 or 72 seconds and stay on pace from there.”

On Katie Flood ...
“I have never actually met her. She was my idol when I was little. You would always hear about Katie Flood. Knowing I had a possibility to break her record made me work harder.”


3:30 p.m. - Long Jump - HS Boys Final
Chandler Diercks, Junior, Clear Lake, 23-10.00 (2.0) (7.26m)
On the event ...
“My first jump, it seemed like it went pretty well and I was just trying to get a feel for how everyone else was jumping. Realizing I had the lead throughout, for the most part, I got to watch my competition and see if I could scratch the next few jumps and got to wait it out.”

On offseason work that contributed to the win ... 
“I definitely worked really hard in the offseason, all winter. Worked on my long jumping. Tried to get my speed and jumping ability better. I had my mind set on this day since last year.”

On the chance to repeat next year ...
“That’s the plan, trying to get back here!”


3:30 p.m. - Shot Put - HS Girls Final

Shelby Gunnels, Senior, Solon, Distance 42-04.25 (12.90m)
Notes: First-time competitor and winner.
On winning and being given the Relays flag ...
“I didn’t know what it would feel like, but it’s amazing.”

On if the weather affected her throws …
“No, they did a good job of drying off the infield and keeping towels ready.”


3 p.m. - High Jump - HS Girls Final
Alexis Conaway, Senior, MOC-FV, High Jump, 5-5 (1.65m)
It is Conaway’s third straight Relays title. Conaway is the second girls athlete to win three Drake Relays high jump titles. The other was Hannah Willms of Dike-New Hartford from 2008-2010. Conaway’s winning jump was 05’05” (1.65m) Conaway is going to play volleyball next year at Iowa State.

On her third Drake Relays title ….
“When you come down here know what to expect. There is lots of great athletes and you always compete until the end. You never know what can happen. To get the Drake Relays title three years in a row is an awesome experience. To be put in the same category of Hannah Willms is awesome. She is amazing.”

On the Drake Relays ….
“It is a great environment with a lot great athletes. It is fun to be here.  You don’t have competition till the end in most meets.”

On the season ….
“This is only my second time jumping outdoors this year. I have some back issues I have been dealing with. I feel good that I competed the way I did.”



Kurtis Brondyke, Unattached, 7,283 points
As a multi-event athlete at Central College, Brondyke won the 2011 NCAA Division III national championship in the Indoor Pentathlon, with a score of 3,827, and finished second in the Decathlon during the outdoor season. Currently he is a graduate assistant track and field coach for Central Missouri. Competed as a high school prep for Clinton (Iowa) High School. Competed in Drake Relays in high school.

On winning the decathlon at the Drake Relays ...
“The Drake Relays have always been special for me. I’m a Clinton high school kid that got to compete here and then with Central. It was a big deal back then and it is a big deal today. To do it post collegiately is really fun and a good time.

On taking the lead after the eighth event after the leader had to pull out ...
“I knew he (Dooley) was done because his plane flight out of Des Moines was booked at a bad time. Then the way Daniel (Gooris) pole vaulted that I was in a good position with my marks to take the lead as long as I put a good javelin toss out there and then go into the 1,500 and use what my training has done I would be in a good position.”

On joining his coach, Kip Janvrin, as a decathlon winner at the Drake Relays…
“Being a decathlon champion is special, but I’m able to train with Kip Janvrin, which makes it more special as he is one of the most honored athletes that has been here. He has his picture up on the outside of the stadium. It is nice to come back here, we are both Iowa people, it’s nice to come back and celebrate the relays that we fell in love with when we were younger and keep it going.”

On his future...
“I have the Division II nationals coming up plus the conference meet in the next two weeks. I’m a coach at Central Missouri. Then I’m going to try and compete again in Ohio in June. Hopefully I can hit USA Championship qualification standards.”


Lindsay Lettow, Unattached, 5,619 points
On winning back-to-back Drake Relays titles…
“When I was competing collegiately, I didn’t get to come here because we had our conference meet the next week. It has been really fun getting to do my event, the heptathlon, at Drake. My family gets to see me and other people at home that normally don’t get to see me.”

On her thoughts heading into the 800 meters with a 200 point lead...
“It is hard to really put it on the line when you don’t have a big motivation to run if nothing is on the line. It was really nice conditions for the 800 and I treated it as a good training workout.”

On competing in front of a home crowd...
“It is always so much fun coming here. The weather isn’t always the best, but I will always come back here. I have run at Drake in high school, collegiately some and I even came here when I was five or six to do the fun run as my dad was running in. It is always a blast to come here.”

On what her plans are after the Drake Relays...
“I still need a qualifier for USAs. I have a mark that is pretty close from last year that could get me in, but I would rather just get the standard. I will do one more meet and the USA meet will be my next.

Pole Vault at the Mall

Men’s Winner
Renaud Lavillenie, Nike, 18-8.75
On winning the competition after finishing second last year …
“It was good for me to take the win today and for me to be here because it was a crazy atmosphere.”

On the atmosphere ...
“You don’t see this any other place, but the thing is it’s quite difficult because people are very close to us and to the runway and the mat. So we have to stay focused on what we have to do and don’t look around."

Steven Lewis, 18-8.75, Second place
On finishing second on misses …
“It was awesome to get a win and tie out with Renaud. It gives me good confidence for the season – this is my second competition back and I didn’t compete indoors so this was like a little taste of an indoor season for me, which is awesome. The atmosphere is electric like last year, but this year I knew what to expect and it was a really good time.”

Women’s Winner
Yarisley Silva, Cuba, 15-4.25
On the competition …
“This was my second time that I competed in this competition in the United States and I feel very happy. Today it was great to compete against some of the best in the world. I respect them all. I’m very happy to be here. I like the environment and the people and the competition.”

Kylie Hutson, 15-4.25, Second place
On the competition …
“This was my fourth time here, so it’s always exciting coming here and I always enjoy it. There’s people lining the runway and just clapping and cheering. Everything was so great. I took a lot of jumps tonight, but it’s also exciting for me because I took a lot of jumps. I was really tired and that’s always a good sign for later in the year when I’m on bigger poles. I love it here, every year.”



Day 1 Leader
Lindsay Lettow, unattached, 3,358 points
She is the defending champion … former Central Missouri and Des Moines Christian athlete from Urbandale … two-time NCAA Division II pentathlon and heptathlon champion … finished fourth in pentathlon at US Indoor Championships this year … trains in Warrensburg, Missouri, with 15-time Drake Relays decathlon champion Kip Janvrin … was in second place heading into final event of the day, the 200. Ran 24.67, the best time of the day, to take the lead.

On the 200 meter race ...
"I am thrilled with my 200. For these conditions, I'm very happy with it. I just tried to run big, open and relaxed, do the things I've been working on, and that paid off.”

On her goals for the season …
"The goal is 6,000 points. That's a general point goal, just see improvement in marks and do well at the U.S. Championships even though there's no World Championships. I don't have the standard (to qualify for nationals), but I'll still have some chances. If I can put everything together I can get it definitely."

On competing at the USA Indoor Championships …
"I enjoyed the indoor season a lot. It was fun to do well this year. It definitely gave me a boost going into the outdoor season."

Day 1 Leader
Andre Dorsey, Jr., Kennesaw State, 4,055 points
This is Dorsey’s first decathlon … it's the first time he has run the 100 and 400 meters in a meet and he had the best times in both at 10.76 and 49.87, respectively … he finished 11th in the long jump and triple jump and this year NCAA indoor meet and qualified in the high jump … was 14th in the triple jump in last year's NCAA outdoor meet.

On the 100 and 200 meter races ….
"I did my first 200 last Saturday. I'm still new to this running thing."

On his 6-6.25 high jump ….
"After going 7-4 indoors, I've been trying to get back that feeling. I'm not saying I lost it, but it escaped me a little bit. So my thought was go safe, go from six steps, do my best and just jump high."

On his goal for this decathlon …
"The only goal was hopefully get a qualifying mark for USAs. I knew I wasn't probably going to make the 7600, but it was just something to get in and compete with some of the best in the nation. My whole goal was to just go against the best people I can before it's all over with."

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