Steve Roth-Washington High School

Memories From the Drake Relays: Steve Roth

Steve Roth-Washington HS ©Special to Next Level Iowa

Steve Roth-Washington HS
©Special to Next Level Iowa

Steve Roth is a state championship winning coach at Washington High School and is entering his 41st year as head coach of the Demons.  Roth is a very active Track and Field official working many collegiate meets across Iowa and currently holds the office of President of the Iowa Association of Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches.

I have been attending the Drake Relays for 45 years and it just gets better and better every year.  I never got to participate as an athlete.  I have been coaching track and field for the Washington Demons for 41 years and in those years, there have only been two that we did not qualify an event for the Drake Relays.

I can remember sitting on the back stretch with hundreds of college and high school athletes watching Herschel Walker come around the 1st turn looking like his body was going to explode.  He was so big and fast.  Eating 25 cent hamburger with top notch college coaches listening to their stories and trying to pick up some little bit of knowledge that would make me a better coach.

At Washington, we have 3 parts to our season.  First is getting as many kids to the Drake Relays as possible.  I think it’s very important to run against the best athletes in the state at mid- season.  Drake is an all-star show case with the best against the best.  No matter how they do they will be prepared to get back to the Blue Oval for the state meet.  We have had some outstanding athletes compete at the Drake Relays and to win an event, I believe, ranks as one of the highest achievements you can get in Iowa track and field. Why?  Because it’s all 4 classes competing against each other.  Yes, I do put a lot of emphasis on the Drake Relays and it has made my athletes better and more confident as we move on to the conference meet and then to the state qualifying meet.

Lastly, I have also officiated the last 17 years at the Drake Relays.  The officials take pride in making it a great event.  I have learned so much on both sides of the Drake Relays, coaching and officiating.