ONLINE EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE BY KATHERINE BAUER
The Drake women’s 4×100 relay team members had great starts to the outdoor season at the Georgia Relays last weekend in Athens, Georgia. Sophomores Mary Young, Rai Ahmed-Green, Taryn Rolle and senior Destani Welch ran the relay in 47.66.
“It feels a lot better being outside,” Young said. “We don’t have to train on that square, concrete track. I think it helped to train outside.”
Drake swept the top four finishes in the 200-meter. Young won in 23.35. Ahmed-Green finished second in 25.35. Virginia Hill placed third in 25.81, and Rolle rounded out the top four with a time of 25.97.
“Our strongest competition was probably one another,” Ahmed-Green said. “We ran the same race, and that’s probably the only reason we ran as fast as we did because we were going up against each other.”
Young also won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.00. Welch finished just behind her with a time 14.29 to take second. Young finished second in the 400-meter hurdles behind Hill, who claimed first in 1:00.84.
Rolle won the long jump with a jump of 10.25 feet and won the triple jump with a distance of 38-1.5 feet.
The men also swept the top four finishes in the 200-meter. Demetrius Shelton won in 21.73 followed by Pierce Vincent in second with a time of 22.10. Aaron Chier was third in 22.24 with Hudson Priebe rounding out the fourth finish half a second later.
Priebe won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.97. He took second in the 400-meter hurdles, but was the top collegiate athlete in a time of 54.09.
Vincent also claimed second in the 100-meters in 10.47.
With the transition from indoors to outdoors underway, the athletes have to be aware of more factors when competing outside.
“Being indoors without any elements, it’s kind of easy to get comfortable,” Rolle said. “When you go to outdoor, you have to be so cognitive of the wind and you have to be thinking of the sun, not letting it drain all your energy. So it’s a weird transition, but definitely one that will come to us as the season progresses.”
Ahmed-Green added to her top finishes by placing fourth in the 400-meters by running in 59.48.
All of the top finishes at the Georgia Relays do not necessarily define the rest of the season for the team. The competition was not as tough as the athletes have experienced in the indoor season.
“I think we’ll have stronger competition at our next meet,” Young said. “We did have some competition (at the Georgia Relays), but it wasn’t what we’re usually used to either.”
The Bulldogs are not looking to let any poor performances set the tone for the remainder of the year either.
“Everyone’s always trying to do better,” Ahmed-Green said. “Even if you have a bad first meet, you’re always looking to the next meet to PR or to do better. And you want to get to conference and lay it all out on the line to get to regionals.”
The Bulldogs returned to the track on March 26 in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Arkansas Spring Invitational. Check in the print edition of the Times-Delphic on March 30 for a recap of that event.