Rolling Highlights Iowa's Drake Relays Efforts

April 22, 2010

Drake Relays Photo Gallery (Thursday, April 22) | Video interview with D. Rolling

DES MOINES, Iowa — Riding a bus half a day for a few minutes of action might be the way of life for a minor league baseball middle relief pitcher, but it didn’t cut it for University of Iowa senior track and field athlete Dan Rolling.

Rolling, who began his career as a high-jumper for the Hawkeyes, evolved into a multi-event performer two years ago. The move paid off: After leading after the first five events Wednesday, Rolling finished eighth in the Drake Relays decathlon with a school-record 6,957 points.

“I had a few meets where I traveled 12 hours on a bus to go jump three times in the high jump and be done,” Rolling said. “I didn’t know if that was worth a 12-hour drive, so I wanted to get into the (multi-events) to see what I could do there. I think it’s been pretty good to me. I like doing it.”

Rolling added 3,061 points to his total Thursday, highlighted by a personal-best 736 in the 1,500-meter run (4:31.29) and 752 points in 110 hurdles (15.83). In the three other events contested during the second day of the competition, Rolling scored 590 in the pole vault (12-foot-9 ½), 537 in the javelin (152-6) and 446 in the discus (95-5).

“It was a much more down day than I wanted it to be,” Rolling said. “Pole vault, discus and hurdles were all way lower than I wanted them to be. I came back in the javelin and put a decent score down and then the 1,500 was a PR, so I ended really well.”

Minnesota senior R.J. McGinnis won the event with 7,319 points. He overcame a 40-point first-day deficit to Rolling by posting 3,460 on Thursday.

“It’s great competing with a guy like that,” Rolling said. “You know he’s going to go out there, even on a bad day, and put together a great score.”

A native of Milford, Iowa, Rolling said he has competed more times at Drake than he has on the Hawkeye’s home track in Iowa City.

“This is like a home meet to me,” Rolling said. “It’s awesome. The Drake Relays is one of the best track meets in the world. It’s top-notch. You get to go against all the great athletes and I love doing it.”