Drake Relays News

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 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.

About Wellmark
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.


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 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

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 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.