Returning Champions Head to Drake Relays

April 20, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

Complete Drake Relays Schedule in PDF Format

The University of Iowa track team will travel to the 101st annual Drake Relays, hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, IA. The meet will take place over three days, starting Thursday Apr. 23 at 2:30 p.m. Events are set to start at 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Iowa’s 400-meter relay team will look to defend its 2009 Drake Relays title. Three of the four competitors from last year’s championship team return, including sophomores D’Juan Richardson, Zeke Sayon, and Patrick Richards. Junior Stephen Bee rounds out the quartet, replacing 2009 competitor Paul Chaney Jr. This year’s team ranks second in the Big Ten, with Sayon leading the Big Ten in the 100-meter dash and Richardson ranking fifth.

Sophomore Betsy Flood will make her return to her hometown of Des Moines, IA for the second time in Hawkeye colors. At last year’s competition, Flood led off the 6,400 and 3,200-meter relays that finished third and sixth, respectively. Flood was a four-time state champion in track at Dowling High School. She set four school records with the Maroons before graduating in 2008.

Iowa’s hurdlers are ready to contend for titles at this year’s Drake Relays. Senior Ray Varner currently leads the Big Ten and is ranked sixth nationally in the 400-meter hurdles. After placing second at last year’s relays, he will look to come out of this year’s race a winner. Junior Karessa Farley also placed second in last year’s relays in the 100-meter hurdles. This season, Farley leads the team and ranks fifth in the Big Ten.

Freshman Jordan Mullen will get his first taste of the Drake Relays at the collegiate level. Mullen is a two-time Drake Relays Champion at the prep level, setting a meet record (14.04) at the 2009 Relays. The Atlantic, IA native leads the Hawkeyes and ranks fifth in the Big Ten in the 110-meter hurdles (14.06).

Sophomore Matt Banse has won the hammer throw three consecutive weeks and will look to make it four in a row this weekend. Banse currently ranks third in the Big Ten and 41st nationally (199-0, 60.66m).

D’Juan Richardson ran the lead leg of Iowa’s championship 400-meter relay team last season.

After missing the 2009 outdoor season due to injury, senior Caleigh Bacchus is making her senior campaign one to remember. After hitting 5-10 (1.78m) in the high jump at this year’s Sun Angel Classic, Bacchus ranks third all-time at Iowa, third in the Big Ten, and 29th nationally.

3 x TOP 10
Three Hawkeyes rank among the Big Ten’s top 10 performers in the 1,500-meters. Sophomore Betsy Flood and junior sisters Lauren and Amanda Hardesty rank eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. Flood’s season-best time of 4:24.51 ranks seventh all-time in program history.

The annual Iowa Musco Twilight Meet returns next Saturday (May 1) after a one year hiatus. The summer flood of 2008 swept away Iowa’s Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track in Iowa City, preventing the Hawkeyes from hosting outdoor meets in 2009. The 11th annual event returns Saturday at 2 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network. The Musco Twilight Meet, named for Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa, IA, which has supplied mobile lighting equipment for the event’s 11-year history, will air on the BTN Sunday, May 16 at 5 p.m. (CT).