Rainy Saturday Concludes Drake Relays

April 24, 2010

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Iowa City, IA – Although mother nature wasn’t very cooperative, the 101st Drake Relays did manage to finish Saturday after a lightning and rain delay. There were plenty of close races for the University of Iowa teams, with five second-place finishes to round out the weekend in Des Moines, IA.

The men’s 4×4 relay team that won Friday’s preliminaries narrowly missed repeating their result, finishing second at 3:05.73, beating Friday’s mark of 3:08.97. Juniors Chris Barton, Steven Willey, and sophomore Erik Sowinski were joined today by sophomore Patrick Richards, substituting in for senior Ray Varner. Varner instead concentrated on Saturday’s individual 400-meter hurdles, finishing second at 50.85, less than seven-tenths of a second behind the leader. Sowinski, Willey and Richards were also part of Iowa’s 1,600-meter sprint medley team, along with sophomore D’Juan Richardson. Iowa ended up finishing second at 3:17.74. The men’s defending 4×1 relay champions, consisting of Richardson, Richards, and juniors Zeke Sayon and Stephen Bee, finished sixth at 40.56. The men’s distance medley relay of freshman Nick Young, sophomore Nick Kuczwara, and juniors Chris Barton and Jesse Luciano finished fourth at 9:42.97 which ranks second all-time at Iowa.

“I think we saved the best for last with the exciting second-place finish in the 4×4,” said Men’s Head Coach Larry Wieczorek. “We waited for a while from the lightning and rain delay, but we finished strong. I think the Drake Relays were terrific overall. From Rolling’s school record in the decathlon Thursday all the way to our 4×4 finish, it was a great couple days for us.”

The women’s team’s two qualifiers from Friday both finished sixth in their respective finals Saturday, with senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty in the 100-meter dash (11.95) and junior Karessa Farley in the 100-meter hurdles (13.72). Iowa’s formidable distance group showed their strength in Saturday’s 4×1,600-meter relay, with sophomores Betsy Flood, McKenzie Melander, and junior twins Amanda Hardesty and Lauren Hardesty placing second at 19:05.63. This mark beats the Drake Relays record set last year by Baylor, though the first-place Minnesota squad will officially get the mark at 18:58.92.

“I thought we had solid performances across the board,” said Women’s Head Coach Layne Anderson. “The highlight of the week was probably our 4×1,600 squad beating last year’s mark. Though they won’t go in the record books, it’s still a great accomplishment and we’re excited about the prospect of having that group back next year to compete. I’m looking forward to coming home for the Musco Twilight next weekend, and from there we’ll prepare for Big Tens and nationals.”

The University of Iowa Track and Field teams return home this weekend to host the 11th annual Musco Twilight Meet on Saturday, May 1. Events at Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track will begin at 2 p.m. with the field events. Preliminary running heats will start at 3 and final sections will begin at 6. Admission is $3 for adults and free for UI students and youth 18 and under. Free schedule posters and “Go Hawks” Big Ten Network T-Shirts will be available. A tape-delay broadcast of the meet will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network on Sunday, May 16 at 5 p.m. CDT.