Drake Relays News
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
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.
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