STORY BY EMILY LAMBIE
Drake isn’t the only school who has the opportunity to compete at Relays, as over 500 teams from middle schools, high schools and colleges across the nation will travel to Drake Stadium this week.
Three of those teams will come from the University of Arizona, Baylor University and Marquette University. Each will send several athletes to face off with some of the best collegiate talent in the country.
From Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, junior William Hennessey is one of the athletes who could potentially be competing in the Drake Relays this year. He is looking forward to the experience, having never been to Relays before.
“Just the fact that it’s probably one the most historic relay meets in America, maybe behind the Pitt Relays,” Hennessey said. “The atmosphere is basically insane the week of Relays.”
“It’s a great environment and a great feel,” senior Raena Rhone, a runner for Baylor University, said. “There is a lot of competition and it’s just really, really fun.”
Even with all of the excitement, Hennessey has some nerves to deal with.
“Anytime you go to a big meet like this there is bound to be some sort of nerves involved.” Hennessey said. “It’s a few weeks out, so hopefully by then I’ll have tamed the nerves.”
While he won’t know until the week of Relays, he is hoping that he will get the chance to compete in the steeplechase, but it all depends on his times if he gets the chance at all to travel to Des Moines.
Regardless, he is optimistic and believes that he will earn the honor of running at Drake’s historic Jim Duncan track.
“I’m excited because it’s a huge meet, but nervous also, because it’s a huge meet,” Hennessey said.
The only way he could describe it is surreal.
Pete Lauderdale is a senior at the University of Arizona and is hoping to be chosen to compete in the Drake Relays this season.
Arizona has not been to the Drake Relays in four years, so this is an exciting opportunity for the school to jump back into this event-filled week in Des Moines.
“It is definitely an amazing opportunity,” Lauderdale said. “I compare Drake Relays, it is as big as Texas Relays and Pitt Relays. … The atmosphere there is indescribable. It’s kind of like being in the BCS bowl, and Drake Relays to me is kind of like that. The level of competition is so high and the people supporting the sport are so enthusiastic and a great experience to go to and just say you were a part of.”
Not only is he excited to compete, but he is also excited to be able to come to Iowa, as this will be his first time travelling to the state. The team will fly to Des Moines in the hopes of taking some awards back to Tucson.
“Our coaches are doing a great job of getting us prepared for competitions,” Lauderdale said. “We’re a young team, we’re hungry and we’ll show up and show what Arizona can do.”