If you live in Iowa and have the chance, get to the Drake Relays.
Maybe not this year or next, but at some point, at some time, go experience it. It’s one of the premier track events in the world... and just a whole lot of fun. One of my all-time favorite experiences in college was the fact I got to cover it twice.
Truly, just a brilliant meet. Just hope it doesn’t rain.
Today, of course, sees the start of the event. It’s just the heptathlon and decathlon, but everything else gets started on Thursday and the fun lasts until Saturday night.
What to watch:
Last season the Iowa took the HyVee Cup, which is given to whichever team scores the most points in the 400, 1600, 3200, sprint medley and distance medley relays.
Iowa has Big Ten-leading performances in seven events: Brittany Brown (women’s 200-meter, 22.76), Mar’yea Harris (men’s 400, 45.71), Nathan Mylenek (men’s 3,000 steeplechase, 8:48.66), Laulauga Tausaga (women’s discus, 196 feet, 5 inches), Jahisha Thomas (women’s long jump, 21-1 ½), and the men’s 1600 relay (3:04.38).
The Hawkeyes have a competitor in just about every University-level event, so there should certainly be something to watch throughout the weekend. There’s going to be a few familiar faces, as Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Ohio State, Illinois and Purdue will all be at the meet this year along with just about every small college in the state.
“We’re going to have to fight to win a lot of these events,” Iowa director of track and field Joey Woody said to HawkeyeSports. “Some good Big Ten teams are going to be competing against us head-to-head, but that will give us a good idea where we stand going into the Big Ten Championships (on May 11-13).”
Aaron Mallett returns to Drake
Former Iowa hurdler Aaron Mallett makes his return to the Blue Oval, a year removed from winning the university event in 13.47.
Mallett, who graduated from Iowa last season, turned pro and will be back at Drake. He’ll have some competition because, well, the field is pretty damn stacked.
Regardless, it should be a whole lot of fun. Mallett is a 4x All-American and perhaps the best hurdler to ever come out of Iowa. Should be fun to watch him compete against some other truly top competition.
Brown tops Iowa record at Mt. SAC Relays
Last weekend in California the Hawkeyes split into a couple different meets, including the Mt. SAC Relays, one of the biggest track and field events of the year.
Brittany Brown set the record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.28, which is an Iowa school record. She finished seventh, but only two of the runners in front of her were still in college.
Brown also finished third in the 200 with a time of 23.00.
The Iowa men’s 1600 also was strong, finishing third overall in 3:07.45. Thrower Laulauga Tausaga finished third in the women’s discus with a mark of 196 feet, 2 inches. Will Dougherty also set the school record in the heptathlon at the Bryan Clay Invitational.