News on the Drake Relays.

Emily Lipari The Wins Grand Blue Mile
©Jim Kirby 2018

Grand Blue Mile Field Announced

Riley Masters Wins The Grand Blue Mile ©Jim Kirby 2018

Riley Masters Wins The Grand Blue Mile
©Jim Kirby 2018

Grand Blue Mile race officials announced preliminary fields for the 2019 USA Track & Field 1 Mile Road Championships set for Tuesday, April 23, in Des Moines. A world-class group of elite milers will headline the event along with approximately 3,500 participants from across the nation who will compete among the recreational and amateur competitive divisions.

Courtesy of the drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Emily Lipari The Wins Grand Blue Mile ©Jim Kirby 2018

“We’re excited to continue the tradition of welcoming high-profile, high-caliber athletes to Grand Blue Mile in partnership with the Drake Relays,” said Chris Verlengia, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s senior brand marketing manager and Grand Blue Mile co-race director. “As Grand Blue Mile marks its tenth anniversary, being entrusted to host a fifth national championship in 10 years provides even more reason to celebrate the tremendous impact this special event has throughout central Iowa and beyond.”

This year’s race features a top prize of $5,000 each for the men’s and women’s champions with the potential to earn an additional $2,500 for setting a new course record — currently 4.00.0 (2017) and 4:32.7 (2014), respectively. Overall, $30,000 in prize money will be contested across the men’s and women’s championship divisions.

In the men’s division, returning to defend his title is Riley Masters. He will be joined by:
·         Harun Abda
·         Julius Bor
·         Mikey Brannigan
·         Joe Coffee
·         Jake Edwards
·         David Elliott
·         Nick Harris
·         Daniel Herrera
·         Tripp Hurt
·         Lawi Lalang
·         Brandon Lasater
·         Will Leer
·         Mile Marsella
·         Kyle Medina
·         Kyle Merber
·         Chad Noelle
·         Jay Welp

In the women’s division, returning to defend her title is Emily Lipari. She will be joined by Heather Kampf, three-time Grand Blue Mile champion, and:
·         Grace Barnett
·         Savannah Camacho-Colon
·         Hannah Fields
·         Therese Haiss
·         Rebecca Hehra
·         Nikki Hiltz
·         Marisa Howard
·         Rebecca Mehra
·         Shannon Osika
·         Megan Rolland
·         Ashley Stinson
·         Maddie Van Beek
·         Alexina Wilson

Additional entries to the Men’s and Women’s USATF 1 Mile Road Championships fields will be finalized next week.

Mascot Madness Charity Challenge returns
Iowa’s most popular mascots are back to compete against each other in the Mascot Madness Charity Challenge. Mascots will run the backstretch of the Grand Blue Mile race course in a friendly competition. The winning mascot from each division will be awarded a $1,000 prize for their school or organization’s charitable foundation.
Confirmed mascots in the “fast” division include:

  • Viktor (Grandview University)
  • Rosie the Reader (Des Moines Public Library)
  • Wanda the Wallaby (Blank Park Zoo)
  • Sam the Ram (Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired)

Confirmed mascots in the “furriest” division include:
·         Champ (Iowa Games)
·         TC (University of Northern Iowa)
·         Cubbie Bear (Iowa Cubs)
·         Spike (Drake University)
·         Cy (Iowa State University)
·         Herky (University of Iowa)

Register today
Youth and adult registration for the Grand Blue Mile is $20 and $25, respectively, with proceeds supporting school-based wellness programs in association with Iowa Kidstrong and the historic Drake Relays.

For more information and to register, visit


About the Grand Blue Mile
The Grand Blue Mile is an annual one-mile fitness run/walk sponsored by Wellmark® Blue Cross® and Blue Shield®, in partnership with the Drake Relays, to engage individuals at all stages of fitness, encourage healthy habits and empower positive change. The annual wellness event includes recreational, competitive and invitational events featuring a field of elite male and female track and field athletes from around the world. Proceeds from the event benefit Iowa Kidstrong, Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles among youth. For more information about the Grand Blue Mile, visit

About Wellmark
Wellmark, Inc. ( does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit


Sydney Milani-SE Polk-ISU
©Mike Byrnes 2018

Drake Relays Early Blue Standard Achievers

@jim Kirby 2016

@jim Kirby 2016

High school athletes across Iowa have taken advantage of pristine spring weather to record more than 90 Blue Standard performances to guarantee their spot in the 2019 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.

Courtesy Drake Relays, click here!  Feature photo: Sydney Milani-SE Polk-ISU©Mike Byrnes 2018

The predetermined Blue Standard qualification standards are based on entries to and do not change the entry process or field sizes for high school events. Last year, a total of 131 athletes achieved Blue Standard marks. Athletes have until April 18 to qualify for this year’s Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.

The Blue Standards were set by the Drake Relays committee based on historical data from the top 25 percent of accepted entries from past Drake Relays. For teams and athletes that do not attain a Blue Standard, the fields will be filled through the same protocol used in previous years.

This year’s current Blue Standard achievers include 52 from the girls, plus 38 from the boys field. The high jump has been a particularly fruitful event in achieving the Blue Standard with a total of 18 boys and girls athletes clearing the mark of 5-5 for girls and 6-6 for boys.

Iowa high school athletes who record a Blue Standard during April are encouraged to share their unique accomplishment on social media mentioning @DrakeRelays using the hashtags #MYDRAKERELAYS and #BLUEOVALBOUND.

All-Session tickets or single session reserved are now on sale at or by calling 515-271-3647.  For group ticket packages or more information, contact the Drake Ticket Office at 515-271-4949.

Girls Blue Standard Qualifiers

Name School Event Result Date Location Blue Standard
Kerris Roberts Waterloo East 100m 11.93 3/28 Waverly Shell Rock 12.30
Ainsley Erzen Carlisle 400m 58.96 3/26 Simpson 59.00
Carly King Assumption 400m 56.39 3/4 Assumption 59.00
Grace Larkins SE Polk 400m 58.30 3/26 Simpson 59.00
Mackenzie Michael Cedar Falls 400m 57.51 4/6 Assumption 59.00
Auriona Kimbrough Cedar Falls 400m 59.00 4/6 Assumption 59.00
Janette Schraft Glenwood 800m 2:14.95 3/26 Creston 2:16.00
Ashlyn Keeney IC Liberty 800m 2:15.71 4/6 IC West 2:16.00
Ashlyn Keeney IC Liberty 1,500m 4:40.07 3/28 North Scott 4:47.00
Janette Schraft Glenwood 1,500m 4:45.81 4/2 Clarinda 4:47.00
Camille Jackson Ames 3,000m 10:26.60 3/18 Ames 10:30.00
Claire Edmondson Dubuque Sr. 3,000m 10:27.75 3/23 IATC at Dubuque 10:30.00
Janette Schraft Glenwood 3,000m 10:24.68 3/18 Ames 10:30.00
Marie Hostetler Mid Prairie 3,000m 10:19.93 3/18 Ames 10:30.00
Micah Poellett Linn Mar 3,000m 10:29.25 3/4 UNI 10:30.00
Ashlyn Keeney IC Liberty 3,000m 10:06.24 4/4 Washington 10:30.00
Katie Peterson Ankeny 100mH 15.09 4/2 Waukee 15.10
Peyton Steva IC West 100mH 14.63 4/6 IC West 15.10
Zoey Stark Waukee 100mH 15.05 4/6 WDM Valley 15.10
Bettendorf 4x100m 50.34 3/21 Muscatine 50.80
Ankeny 4x100m 49.04 4/2 Waukee 50.80
Waukee 4x100m 49.32 4/2 Waukee 50.80
Wahlert 4x100m 50.52 3/26 Clinton 50.80
Pleasant Valley 4x100m 50.14 3/28 North Scott 50.80
Cedar Falls 4x100m 49.47 4/6 Assumption 50.80
IC West 4x100m 50.34 4/6 IC West 50.80
Solon 4x100m 50.41 4/5 Clear Creek 50.80
SE Polk 4x400m 4:02.48 3/18 Ames 4:03.00
Pleasant Valley 4x400m 4:02.29 4/5 Pleasant Valley 4:03.00
Linn Mar 4x400m 4:00.19 4/5 Pleasant Valley 4:03
Dowling 4x800m 9:34.13 3/26 Simpson 9:36.00
SE Polk 4x800m 9:34.64 3/26 Simpson 9:36.00
Assumption SMR 1:48.74 3/28 Mt. Pleasant 1:49.00
Gabby Guilford Monticello HJ 5-5 3/21 RVC Meet at Dubuque 5-5
Katy Stephens WB-ND HJ 5-5 3/26 West Burlington 5-5
Madison Harms Sergeant Bluff-Luton HJ 5-7 3/22 SDSU 5-5
Miracle Ailes Keokuk HJ 5-8 3/1 Central College 5-5
Olivia Nebergall Anamosa HJ 5-5 3/21 RVC Meet at Dubuque 5-5
Reagan Dahlquist Waverly-Shell Rock HJ 5-6.25 3/18 Ames 5-5
Sara Hoskins Pleasant Valley HJ 5-5 4/5 Pleasant Valley 5-5
Darby Thomas CB Abe Lincoln LJ 18-2.75 3/18 Ames 17-8
Dimia Burrell Linn Mar LJ 17-10 3/23 IATC at Dubuque 17-8
Katie Severt IC West LJ 17-10 3/26 IC West 17-8
Brylie Zieisneiss South Hardin Discus 147-7 3/25 BCLUW 130-6
Jamie Kofron Tipton Discus 142-9 3/26 Tipton 130-6
Sharon Goodman Crestwood Discus 132-1 4/5 Decorah 130-6
Lydia Knapp Panorama Discus 133-8 4/2 Panorama 130-6
Lily Meester Mt. Vernon Discus 131-0 4/2 Williamsburg 130-6
Brylie Zieisneiss South Hardin SP 46-2.5 3/15 Buena Vista 42-0
Jamie Kofron Tipton SP 43-6.75 4/2 West Liberty 42-0
Lauren Payne Lewis Central SP 43-0 3/22 Doane 42-0
Lexie Magnani Mt. Pleasant SP 42-4 3/26 West Burlington 42-0

Boys Blue Standard Qualifiers

Name School Event Result Date Location Blue Standard
Harrison Waylee Urbandale 100m 10.75 3/28 Waukee 10.80
Darien Porter Bettendorf 400m 48.51 4/2 North Scott 49.90
Jacob Keller WDM Valley 400m 49.10 4/6 WDM Valley 49.90
Sam Hall Dowling 1,600m 4:23.78 4/4 IC West 4:24.00
Max Murphy Pleasant Valley 3,200m 9:34.71 3/5 UNI 9:35.00
David Holesinger Dubuque Hempstead 3,200m 9:33.25 3/28 Pleasant Valley 9:35.00
Kolby Greiner IC West 3,200m 9:32.45 4/6 IC West 9:35.00
Jace Christensen SE Polk 110mH 14.56 4/6 WDM Valley 14.60
SC East 4x100m 43.44 4/6 Lynx Invite 43.80
Dowling 4x100m 43.12 3/28 Waukee 43.80
DM East 4x100m 42.97 4/6 WDM Valley 43.80
SE Polk 4x100m 43.76 3/26 Simpson 43.80
Waukee 4x100m 42.82 4/5 43.80
Williamsburg 4x100m 43.42 4/4 Clear Creek 43.80
WDM Valley 4x100m 43.47 4/6 WDM Valley 43.80
Bettendorf 4x100m 43.65 3/29 North Scott 43.80
Bellevue 4x100m 43.78 4/6 IC West 43.80
Waukee 4x400m 3:22.50 3/28 Waukee 3:23.00
Urbandale SMR 3:32.88 4/4 Dowling 3:34.50
Braeden Hoyer Northeast HJ 6-9 3/21 RVC Meet at Dubuque 6-6
Bret Price Boone HJ 6-6 3/23 IATC at Dubuque 6-6
Carter Morton Greene Co. HJ 6-7 3/16 Buena Vista 6-6
Cauy Spidle Central Decatur HJ 6-8.25 3/22 East Union 6-6
Grant Brouwer Sibley Ocheyden HJ 6-8 3/19 Corn Palace Indoor 6-6
Japannah Kellogg Ames HJ 6-6 3/12 Wartburg 6-6
Michael Keegan Beckman Catholic HJ 6-7 3/16 Grinnell College 6-6
Junior Bodden Aplington-Parkersburg HJ 6-6 4/2 Grundy Center 6-6
Grant Kelchen Western Dubuque HJ 6-6 3/28 Pleasant Valley 6-6
Keith Kehana South Tama HJ 6-6 4/2 South Tama 6-6
Aguek Deng WDM Valley HJ 6-8 4/6 WDM Valley 6-6
Damon Jaeger Western Dubuque LJ 22-5 3/11 UNI 22-4
Tamin Lipsey Ames LJ 22-5 4/1 Ames 22-4
Parker Kiewiet Dike-New Hartford LJ 22-9 4/5 Clear Creek 22-4
Cam Jones CR Kennedy DT 175-8 4/2 Western Dubuque 171-0
Logan Jones Lewis Central DT 174-8 4/1 Lewis Central 171-0
Zach Beason Mt. Pleasant DT 172-3 4/2 Mediapolis 171-0
Nick Dejong Pella SP 60-5 4/6 SE Polk 57-0
Noah Fenske New Hampton SP 60-7 4/5 Waverly-Shell Rock 57-0
Ryan Schweizer-Dowling-Notre Dame
©Jim Kirby

Relays Announces More Great Teams!

Drake StadiumThe Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee announces the return of some premier track and field teams who have a history at America’s Athletic Classic.

Courtesy Drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Ryan Schweizer-Dowling-Notre Dame©Jim Kirby

Back after a one year hiatus is the University of Minnesota.  The throws crew performed well at the NCAA Indoor Championship, which included second team All-American honors for Kieran McKeag in the men’s weight throw, Johnathan Tharaldsen in the men’s shot put and Kiley Sabin in the women’s shot. The Golden Gophers will also be a threat in the distance events with Obsa Ali who placed 15th in the men’s 5000m at NCAA indoors and is the reigning NCAA champion in the steeplechase.

Also returning with a stellar distance contingent will be Oklahoma State.  The women’s team capped their indoor season with a third place finish in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Indoor Championship to earn All-American honors.   The men’s team has two All-Americans from last fall’s NCAA Cross Country Championship in Isai Rodriguez, who finished fourth, and Ashenafi Hatte in 27th place.  Both look to be threats in the distance events.

The University of San Francisco women’s team makes the trek to America’a Athletic Classic this year with strength in the middle distance events.  Senior Sadi Henderson is a four-time All American in the 800m from her undergrad career running at Boise State and fellow senior Dana Klein led the Dons in the indoor 3000m this season.

An exciting team coming back to the Blue Oval this year is Kentucky, which returns for its first appearance since 2011 when Keenan Hall won the men’s triple jump.  At the NCAA Indoor Championship, the Wildcats had All-American performances from Daniel Roberts claiming second in the men’s 60m hurdles, Marie-Josee Ebwea-Excel taking third in the women’s triple jump, Kianna Gray placing fourth in the 60m dash and the women’s 4x400m relay team finishing in eighth place.  Kentucky head coach Lonnie Greene will have his teams ready to be strong contenders for the Hy-Vee Cup.

All-Session tickets or single session reserved are now on sale at or call 515-271-3647.  For group ticket packages or more information, contact Dustin in the Drake Ticket Office at 515-271-4949.

Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou
©Jim Kirby 2018

Iowans Take Home Lots of Hardware From the Relays

Gable Sieperda - Central Lyon ©Jim Kirby 2018

Gable Sieperda – Central Lyon
©Jim Kirby 2018

The 109th edition of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee thrilled nearly 40,000 fans over four days of action with tremendous performances across all divisions. Monday, April 30, the best of those performances were honored with the announcement of the Relays Most Outstanding Performers.

Courtesy Drake Relays, click here! Feature photo: Karissa Schweizer-Dowling-Mizzou©Jim Kirby 2018

Those winners include Ohio State Zack Bazile as the Maury White Award winner, Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer as the women’s invitational/collegiate Most Outstanding Performer, Central Lyon’s Gable Sieperda as the Robert Kramme Award winner and Linn-Mar’s Payton Wensel as the recipient of the Gerry Cooley Award.

Zack Bazile is the first collegiate Maury White Award winner since 2015 after claiming the long jump title, finishing third in the 100 meters and running a leg on the winning 4×100-meter relay for Ohio State.

Bazile won the long jump with a wind-aided mark of 25-3.25 (7.70m) on his third jump to best the field by more than a foot. With that jump, Bazile became just the second Buckeye to win the Drake Relays long jump and the first since track and field legend Jesse Owens did so in 1935. Bazile may have added on to that jump, but he passed on his fourth and fifth attempts in order to run the 100 meters. His winning long jump mark was the best at the Drake Relays since 2014.

The voting for the women’s collegiate/invitational Drake Relays Most Outstanding performer was near unanimous in selecting Missouri standout and Urbandale, Iowa, native Karissa Schweizer. Schweizer began her return to the Blue Oval by breaking the women’s University/College record in the 5,000 meters. Schweizer’s time of 15:23.21 bested the previous 33-year-old record by more than eight seconds. Her time is the fastest in the NCAA this year and fourth fastest in the world. She returned to the track Saturday afternoon to help Missouri win the distance medley relay in 11:07.59. Schweizer received the baton on her anchor leg with the Tigers in fourth place and clocked a 4:32.19 1,600 meters to move the Tigers through the field and win the event by more than 10 seconds.

The high school competitions produced record-setting performances as they have for generations at Drake Stadium, but there was a pair that was near unanimous selections for Most Outstanding Performer.

Linn-Mar’s Payton Wensel was the runaway vote-getter for the Gerry Cooley Award given to the most outstanding girls’ high school competitor at the Drake Relays.

The senior set a relay and individual record over the weekend and left the Blue Oval with three white flags and a second-place finish. She ran the anchor on Linn-Mar’s sprint medley relay that clocked a Relays record time of 1:44.07, an Iowa all-time best and the second-fastest time in the country this year. Later Friday, she finished second in the 800 meters with a time of 2:12.01. Her return to the Blue Oval Saturday saw her claim a Drake Relays record for herself as she won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:00.25. Her record-setting time is the second-fastest in Iowa history and sixth in the nation this year to help her win the event for the second-straight year. She concluded her final Drake Relays as a high schooler by helping Linn-Mar win its first-ever 4×100-meter relay title.

Gabe Sieperda of Central Lyon earned the Robert Kramme Award, given to the top boys high school competitor.

Sieperda opened the Drake Relays by easily winning the 3,200 meters with a 2:10 final 800 meters to finish in 9:11.17. That time was the 19th fastest on the Iowa all-time list. He completed the distance sweep on Saturday by clocking a 14-second season-best in the 1,600 meters in 4:15.68. He also turned in a sixth-place finish in the 800 meters.

The 109th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee featured the 53rd consecutive Saturday sellout with 14,504 fans crowded around the Blue Oval after more than 16,000 fans streamed through the gates during the two Friday sessions. The 109th edition of America’s Athletic Classic is scheduled for April 24-27, 2019.

2018 Drake Relays Most Outstanding Performers
Maury White Award (Collegiate/Invitational Men) – Zack Bazile, Ohio State
Collegiate/Invitational Women – Karissa Schweizer – Missouri
Robert Kramme Award (High School Boys) – Gable Sieperda – Central Lyon
Gerry Cooley Award (High School Girls) – Payton Wensel – Linn-Mar


Next Level Iowa Podcast For May 1st 2018: Drake Wrap-Brenda Martinez, Alex Wilson, Brette Corey and Michelle Mumm

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside ©Jim Kirby 2018

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside
©Jim Kirby 2018

On this edition of the Next Level Iowa Podcast we look back at last weekend’s Drake Relays and talk to a variety of athletes such as Olympian Brenda Martinez, now professional Alex Wilson-Mt. Vernon Lisbon-UNI, Brette Corey-W. Dubuque-UNI and Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside.

Feature photo: Olympian Brenda Martinez ©Jim Kirby 2018

We also look ahead to the upcoming conference meets, regionals and the NCAA Nationals.  All this and more on this week’s Next Level Iowa Podcast.

Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU
©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics

Cyclones Set For Drake

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU ©Darren 2018

Larkin Chapman-Muscatine-ISU
©Darren 2018

The shortest trip of the outdoor season awaits the Iowa State track and field teams this weekend, as the Cyclones head to Des Moines for the 2018 Drake Relays. Competition for the Cyclones begins with the Distance Carnival on Thursday, starting at 4:30 p.m., with competition following all day Friday and Saturday.

Courtesy Cyclone Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Elijah Young-DM Lincoln-ISU©Luke Lu-Cyclones Athletics 2017

Tickets for all sessions are still available through the Drake Ticket Office, here.

Live video will be provided by USATF.TV, a subscription-based service. For more info, click here. NBC Sports Network will have live coverage from the meet on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Live results will come via Prime Time Timing, here.

On the track, with many of the Cyclone runners having already achieved times that will qualify them for the NCAA West Prelims next month, the focus will be on the relays. The Cyclone middle distance and distance squads will be looking to collect Drake Relays flags in the 4x800s and distance medley relays, while the ISU men will look to build on last weekend’s 3:07.57 in the 4×400-meter relay.

Individually, the Cyclone women will see Karly Ackley and Anne Frisbie in the women’s 5,000 on Thursday night, a field that includes multiple-time NCAA champion Karissa Schweitzer from Missouri. The Cyclone hurdlers will be the ones to watch on the men’s side, with Logan Schneider having a strong season, and Elijah Young running in his hometown of Des Moines.

In the field, Jhoanmy Luque will be back to defend her titles in the university/college long jump and triple jump. The Cyclones will also bring strong squads in the field events, with Vlad Pavlenko and Chris Celonain the men’s hammer throw, and Essence Henderson entered in the women’s discus and shot put.

Iowa State Entries (as of Apr. 22)
800m Run: Zach Black
1,500m Run: Zach Black, Greyson Dolezal
5,000m Run: Greyson Dolezal, John Nownes
110m Hurdles: Logan Schneider, Elijah Young
4x400m Relay: One Team
4x800m Relay: One Team
Sprint Medley Relay: One Team
Distance Medley Relay: One Team
High Jump: Cody Durbin
Hammer Throw: Chris Celona, Vlad Pavlenko
Javelin: Blake Hughes

800m Run: Larkin Chapman
5,000m Run: Karly Ackley, Anne Frisbie, Adriana Kammerer
100m Hurdles: Tasha Frazier
400m Hurdles: Emma Whigham
3,000m Steeplechase: Abby Caldwell
4x800m Relay: One Team
4×1,600m Relay: One Team
Distance Medley Relay: One Team
Long Jump: Tasha Frazier, Jhoanmy Luque
Triple Jump: Jalaiya Bartley, Jhoanmy Luque
Shot Put: Essence Henderson, Keiara Williams
Discus: Essence Henderson
Hammer Throw: Tessa Krempel

Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI
©Mike Byrnes 2017

Panthers Have Big First Day at Drake

Lauren Frederick-UNI ©Jim Kirby 2017

Lauren Frederick-UNI
©Jim Kirby 2017

The University of Northern Iowa track and field program capped its opening day at the Drake Relays on Wednesday, with the Panthers competing in the decathlon and heptathlon.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Chaley Rath-Treynor-UNI ©Mike Byrnes 2017

UNI’s Brooke Lorenz sits in second place for the heptathlon, after scoring 2,974 points on Wednesday. The junior finished runner up in the high jump and 200 to cap her stellar day on the track. Chaley Rath is not far behind at fourth overall, after she claimed first in the high jump with a mark of 5-06. Erica Loussaert and Lauren Frederick round out the Panther competitors at fifth and sixth overall for the heptathlon.

On the men’s side, Austin Heitland is in third place for the decathlon with 3,713 points after finishing first in the 100 and 400, before taking third overall in the shot put. Michael Santi had a runner-up finish in the 100 but pulled out of the decathlon later on.

UNI will be back at the Drake Relays on Thursday, with the multi events beginning at 10:30 a.m. and track action starting at 4:30 p.m.

Live results and heat sheets for the Drake can be found here. A live stream is available through USATF.TV, which requires a subscription.

Following this week’s action in Des Moines, the Panthers will compete at the Wisconsin Twilight on Friday, May 4 in Madison. The Panthers will compete at the MVC Outdoor Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 11-13.  

Get all the latest information on the team by following @UNITrackFieldXC on Twitter and @UNITrackandField on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at @UNIAthletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Drake Relays
Wednesday, April 25 – Des Moines, Iowa

Top 5 Finishes
Men Decathlon Events
SP: Austin Heitland (3rd, 41-0)
100: Austin Heitland (1st, 10.97), Michael Santi (2nd, 11.07)
400: Austin Heitland (1st, 49.20)

Current Decathlon Standings
Austin Heitland (3rd, 3713)

Women Heptathlon Events
SP: Lauren Frederick (2nd, 35-08), Brooke Lorenz (5th, 33-08)
HJ: Chaley Rath (1st, 5-06), Brooke Lorenz (2nd, 5-05), Erica Loussaert (3rd, 5-04)
100H: Chaley Rath (3rd, 14.68), Erica Loussaert (4th, 14.75)
200: Brooke Lorenz (2nd, 25.99)

Current Heptathlon Standings
Brooke Lorenz (2nd, 2974)
Chaley Rath (4th, 2916)
Erica Loussaert (5th, 2877)
Lauren Frederick (6th, 2844)

Katie Nageotte-USATF Champion
©Jim Kirby 2018

Drake Relays: Suhr and Irwin Win Capital Square Vault

Jenn Suhr, a three-time Olympian and indoor world record holder ©Jim Kirby 2018

Jenn Suhr, a three-time Olympian and indoor world record holder
©Jim Kirby 2018

Jenn Suhr, a three-time Olympian and indoor world record holder, and Andrew Irwin won the third-annual Capital Square Vault presented by Catch Des Moines and the Des Moines Register in downtown Des Moines Wednesday evening, April 25.

Courtesy Drake Relays,for interviews and full article click here! Feature photo: Katie Nageotte-USATF Champion©Jim Kirby 2018


Suhr was nearly perfect on the night as she cleared the bar on the first attempt at the first two heights. She then cleared 15-9 on her third attempt to secure the win. Suhr attempted to break her own indoor world record at 16-6.5, but got over hyped which caused her timing to be off and wasn’t able to set a new world record.


Irwin got out to a tough start as he need all three attempts to clear the first height. He became more comfortable and went to match his personal best and clear 18-4.5 on his first attempt to win.


Katie Nageotte finished in second on the women’s side as she cleared 15-5 on her first attempt and missed all three attempts at 15-9.


Shawn Barber, the 2016 Drake Relays Champion, came in second in the men’s competition as he cleared 18-4.5 on his second attempt.





  1. Andrew Irwin, Arkansas Vault Club, 18-4.5 (5.60)
  2. Shawn Barber, Nike Canada, 18-4.5 (5.60)
  3. Sam Kendricks, Nike, 18-0.5 (5.50)
  4. Mike Arnold, Nike, 18-0.5 (5.50)
  5. Scott Houston, Shore AC, 17-8.5 (5.40)



  1. Jenn Suhr, adidas, 15-9 (4.80)
  2. Katie Nageotte, Nike, 15-5 (4.70)
  3. Sandi Morris, Nike, 15-5 (4.70)
  4. Kristen Brown, Chula Vista Elite 13-11.25 (4.25)

Kristen Hixson, Unattached, NH

Cole Decker-Dowling-Central
©Jim Kirby

Dutch Alum Decker Wins Drake Half

Cole Decker-Dowling-Central ©Jim Kirby

Cole Decker-Dowling-Central
©Jim Kirby

Cole Decker ’17, a former member of the Central College men’s cross country and track and field programs, took the title at the Drake Relays half-marathon road race Sunday.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Cole Decker-Dowling-Central©Jim Kirby

Completing the 13.1 mile course in 1 hour, 11 minutes and 51 seconds, Decker outpaced the No. 2 runner Mitchell Davis by 1:22 to win the men’s division at the 50th annual road races.

At Central, Decker was a two-time All-American in the 10,000-meter run by placing eighth in 2015 and second in 2016 at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He also was seventh in the 5,000-meter run in 2016. In cross country, Decker was an All-American in after placing 22nd at the 2015 NCAA Division III Championships.

As a senior in high school Dowling Catholic in West Des Moines, Decker was the 2012 Drake Relays 3,200-meter race winner.

The 109th Drake Relays kick off Wednesday at Drake Stadium, while the Dutch teams will send athletes to Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny
©Jim Kirby 2017

Panthers Set For Drake

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI ©Mike Brynes 2017

Lindsey Kite-Jesup-UNI
©Mike Brynes 2017

After a very successful start to the 2018 outdoor season, the University of Northern Iowa track and field program will face a big test this week as the Panthers make the short trip to Des Moines for the Drake Relays on April 25-28.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Jasmine Blue-CR Jeff., Maddie Bell-Hudson, Maddie Irmen-Assumption and Lyndsie Schinkel-Ankeny©Jim Kirby 2017 

The event will be held at the Blue Oval in Des Moines, with the first day of action starting on Wednesday, April 25 and wrapping up on Saturday, April 28. Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Ohio State will be just a few of the big names to join the Panthers for competition at the Drake Relays this week.

UNI will send 26 student-athletes on the men’s side and 25 on the women’s side this week, with the first events starting at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The Panthers head to Drake after another successful weekend on the track, UNI won a total of 12 events at the Tom Botts Invite to close out action in Missouri. Senior Sarah Pate claimed MVC Track Athlete of the Week honors after breaking her own school record in the hammer throw, earning a mark of 207-02 in the event to take first overall.

Live results and heat sheets for the Drake can be found here. A live stream is available through USATF.TV, which requires a subscription.

Following this week’s action in Des Moines, the Panthers will compete at the Wisconsin Twilight on Friday, May 4 in Madison. The Panthers will compete at the MVC Outdoor Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana on May 11-13.  

Get all the latest information on the team by following @UNITrackFieldXC on Twitter and @UNITrackandField on Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at @UNIAthletics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.