With the Drake Relays just around the corner, Drake men’s track and field and cross country coach Jay Koloseus sat down with The Times-Delphic to talk about what he’s expecting from this year’s races.
Last year, the Drake men’s track and field team experienced success during the Relays, with senior Isaac Basten placing first in the men’s 1,500-meter race. Other top 10 finishes from last year include Adam Fogg placing fourth in the men’s 1,500-meter race, Anthony Barmes placing fifth in the men’s hammer throw and Aziz JDai placing fifth in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. David Olowookere, Angelo Romagna, Caleb Lerus and Anthony Bradley placed sixth in the men’s 4×400-meter relay. Fogg, Lerus, Pur Biel and Basten placed ninth in the men’s 4,000-meter distance medley.
Koloseus mentioned senior Basten and first-year Hayden Cross as runners to keep an eye on during this year’s Relays.
“Hayden Cross is…a freshman just blazing some very, very special times in the 200 and 400 meters,” Koloseus said.
He also said fans should keep an eye on Brooke Mullins, Emilie Meyer and Busiwa Asinga on the women’s track and field team.
“Brooke Mullins on our women’s side holds the school record in the steeplechase and I believe will break a lot more school records this outdoor season. Her teammate, Emilie Meyer, is a sophomore who’s doing some very special things,” Koloseus said. “On our sprint side, Busiwa Asinga, is a tremendous 400-meter hurdler and she has a freshman counterpart in the sprints group.”
When Koloseus was asked if anyone on the team would be able to finish in first place, like Basten last year, he couldn’t guarantee anything, but he did mention a couple of throwers that might place high.
“Someone who I think is going to challenge to at least be in the top three would be someone like Barmes, our hammer thrower from New Zealand, or maybe Adam Phillips in the discus throw,” Koloseus added.
Koloseus was asked if there were any other events that the men’s track and field team wanted to improve on, and he mentioned one specific race he wanted his team to win.
“One event that I would like to see us finish even higher in was the 4,000-meter men’s distance medley relay,” Koloseus said. “It’s been a big goal of mine and our men’s distance team to win a relay. It hasn’t been done at Drake in a long, long time and that’s something we’re going into this year.”
Koloseus described a couple of moments that stood out to him during last year’s Relays, which included a first-place finish and Drake’s presence in the races.
“When Isaac won the 1,500 was a big big moment for us. It was great, it was one of my first athletes that I worked with getting a flag and winning,” Koloseus said. “That was really really cool…beyond that, having a presence on the track in relay events, seeing athletes. For a long time, Drake was kind of in the back end of this thing and just really being in the mix of it was a culmination of a lot of hard work and exciting to see.”
When asked if there were any schools to look out for, Koloseus mentioned a few big name schools, both inside and outside of the Missouri Valley Conference.
“Whenever you hear schools like Oklahoma State and Arkansas being represented, I mean, you can go through their entire roster and be worried about the talent level alone on those athletes,” Koloseus said. “Within our own conference, Indiana State, Bradley, we have a lot of really talented teams coming this year to the Relays.”
Drake Relays will begin on Wednesday, April 26 and continue until Saturday, April 29 at the Drake Stadium.