It’s almost that time of year that everyone has been waiting for, Drake Relays.
Drake Relays is an event that has been happening for several consecutive years up until last year, when it got cancelled due to covid-19. Although, this year Drake is hosting Relays and fans will be allowed to watch!
The event will take place in the Drake Stadium here on campus. Relays start on April 21st and go through April 24th. One thing that people look forward to seeing in relays is all the different levels that can compete in the event. There are high school runners, collegiate runners, professional runners, and even Olympians.
“I am really looking forward to seeing our relays compete against the competition since the University of Houston who is coached by Olympians Leroy Burrell and Carl Lewis, is one of the best sprint programs in the nation, will be present at the Drake Relays,” First-Year Mac Pursell, a track and field runner at Drake, said. “On top of that, I expect to see a few professional athletes compete and maybe a couple Olympians.”
Freshman Dyer Jarabak who is also on the Track & Field team here at Drake is also excited for the event, “I think being able to watch professional athletes run here at Drake is something that I am looking forward to,” He said.
Some students here on campus are excited for the chance to have relays this year, Sophomore Kendall Hunt, was unable to experience relays last year due to the pandemic shutting lots of events and gatherings down. “Personally, I am super excited to be able to have relays this year, after hearing so many stories about how fun the event was from so many people around campus makes me even more excited to be able to finally experience it!” She said.
There is a chance that some of the athletes here on campus on the Track & Field team will be able to qualify for the chance to compete in the event. Although nothing is finalized, they are still preparing for the event.
There are some changes to the Relays this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the high school runners the number of teams let into the event will be shortened. Originally there were 96 high school teams that had the opportunity to compete but now the number of high school teams has been reduced to 48.
The number of fans let into the event each day has been reduced as well, previous years the whole stadium would be packed by local residents, people from across the country, family members of the athletes compete, students and student athletes here at Drake.
This year, the event is open to everyone but with a smaller number of people allowed into the event. The fans will be placed in pods, with a six feet distance between each of the pods, for the safety of the fans. Since fans will be placed in pods, it can be a little challenging to get the seats that everyone would like to get. With this being the case, it is not stopping some fans from wanting to go see the event.
“I would still be open to going to the event even if I can’t pick exactly where I sit because I think it would be cool to go to it since it is a tradition that Drake has,” Second-year Lindsey York said. “After hearing stories from upperclassmen, it just seems like a really cool event that happens.”
Drake Relays is a huge event that lots of people have been anticipating for quite some time now. With only a few weeks until the event everyone is ready for the chance to experience it for the first time or for another year.