Photo: File photo
The list of confirmations from athletes participating in the 102nd Drake Relays continues to grow as the meet approaches.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner is the latest athlete to say he will be running in the blue oval in the 400-meter dash. Wariner won the 400-meter at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was a member of the gold-medal-winning 4-by-400 relay in both 2004 and 2008.
Wariner is the top ranked 400-meter runner in the world after posting three of the top four times during the 2010 season, and he was the 2009 400-meter champion at the Drake Relays with an impressive time of 46.06 seconds.
“The crowd at Drake has always been top notch,” Wariner said. “Whether it’s 45-degree ice or 80 degrees and sunny, [the crowd] is always out there supporting. They just enjoy watching track and field. As long as we are out on the track, they are out there supporting us.”
Two-time U.S. Olympian Derek Miles will return to the 102nd running of the Drake Relays to compete in the pole vault competition at both the Jordan Creek Town Center and at Drake Stadium. Miles has won the Drake Relays special invitational pole vault three times dating back to 2002.
“Drake is always a great meet. It is exciting and fun to be a part of,” Miles said.
The “Pole Vault in the Mall” on April 27 will have a new aspect this year as men and women will be paired together to compete for a team title. The pairings include Miles and April Steiner Bennett; Mark Hollis and Melinda Owen; Brad Walker and Kylie Hutson; Jeremy Scott and Becky Holliday; and Giovanni Lanaro and Jillian Schwartz.
“I think it is an exciting new twist on it,” Miles said about competing as a team at the Jordan Creek Town Center. “It’s kind of another way to bring spice to the whole thing.”