Drake Relays News
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)
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 GrandBlueMile.com.
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 www.grandbluemile.com.
Wellmark, Inc. (Wellmark.com) 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 www.usatf.org.
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 QuickStatsIowa.com 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 draketix.com/drakerelays 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
|Kerris Roberts||Waterloo East||100m||11.93||3/28||Waverly Shell Rock||12.30|
|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|
|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|
|Claire Edmondson||Dubuque Sr.||3,000m||10:27.75||3/23||IATC at Dubuque||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|
|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|
|Pleasant Valley||4x100m||50.14||3/28||North Scott||50.80|
|IC West||4x100m||50.34||4/6||IC West||50.80|
|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|
|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|
|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
|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|
|DM East||4x100m||42.97||4/6||WDM Valley||43.80|
|WDM Valley||4x100m||43.47||4/6||WDM Valley||43.80|
|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|
|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|
|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|
The 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 draketix.com/drakerelays or call 515-271-3647. For group ticket packages or more information, contact Dustin in the Drake Ticket Office at 515-271-4949.