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Relays Edition Sports

Drake’s Brooke Mullins’ Final Relays

Brooke Mullins jumps over a hurdle during the Drake Relays Brooke Mullins, the Drake track and field and cross country star, will be running unattached to Drake in this year’s Relays. Photo Courtesy of Drake Athletic Communications

With the Drake Relays right around the corner and the Drake community starting to get fired up, all eyes are on senior Drake track and field athlete Brooke Mullins as she prepares for her last Relays.  

The Australian track and cross-country runner has been running past her competition since her first year at Drake. Throughout her time with the Bulldogs, she’s been regarded as one of the University’s best student athletes. She’s most well-known for her amazing 3000-meter steeplechase time at the 2023 Raleigh Relays, which set a new Drake record and rivaled some of the best athletes in the country. 

Getting to represent Drake against hundreds of other talented runners at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships earlier this spring was just the start of her current and final season at Drake, and with Mullins moving on this May, this year’s Relays mean more than ever. 

On March 25, Mullins announced on Instagram that, following her graduation from Drake this May, she will be enrolling at Florida State University for her master’s degree while also running for their track and field team. 

Her decision to go to Florida State following her graduation from Drake involved a number of variables, but Mullins’ Australian roots played into one of the more significant variables.

“I knew I wanted to continue running while getting my master’s, and when I visited a few schools, Florida State really stood out to me as a place similar to Australia weather-wise while also having the academics and sports program that I was looking for,” Mullins said. “I loved the atmosphere and coaches who were so [welcoming] to me, along with the team that was super supportive.” 

Before she moves on to Florida State, though, Mullins is still planning on running in one final Drake Relays. 

One caveat to her final Drake Relays is that she only has one more year of track and field eligibility under NCAA rules. This has caused Mullins to, for now, plan to run the Relays as a professional athlete rather than a Drake-affiliated athlete. 

This year’s Relays present a great jumping-off point for Mullins as she attempts to launch her athletic career in a new direction.  Running unattached to a school is an option for all athletes if they want to stay within their NCAA contracts, but for someone as talented as Mullins, there also aren’t any rules against her racing as a professional during this year’s races.  

Mullins knows she is running detached from Drake to honor that eligibility, but between an injury that she is working through along with what racing as a pro would look like in a professional event, the specifics haven’t been worked out yet. 

“I’ll for sure be running unattached,” Mullins said when asked if she would be running as a Drake athlete or as a pro athlete. “[I’m] kinda dealing with an injury right now, so we haven’t plugged in any specifics.”

No matter what colors she wears, though, her teammates will still be cheering her on one last time on the Bulldog track. Her teammates agree with this sentiment, explaining that Mullin’s affiliation in her races won’t change how much her participation means to the team. 

“I think she is seen as the team leader no matter the jersey,” fellow track runner Isaac Basten said. “She has always led by example in everything she does, from training to lifestyle choices, and she is still at practice every day mentoring the younger athletes here at Drake. She will wear a different singlet a couple times on race day, but I would say it changes the fan perspective of things much more drastically than it changes it from the athlete perspective.”  

Looking forward to the Relays, there is no doubt that stakes will be high for any athlete on the track. The biggest track and field event of the year at Drake tends to have that effect. But nonetheless, one thing is for sure: The Drake Relays will be home to a plethora of talented athletes, both on the student and professional level.

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