High School Records Fall On Thursday At Drake Relays
DES MOINES, Iowa – Two high school state records fell during the second day of the 105th running of the Drake Relays on Thursday at historic Drake Stadium.
Linn-Mar sophomore Stephanie Jenks ran the fastest-time ever by an Iowa girl in the 3,000 meters, while Boone’s Albert Meier became the first Iowa prep to break the nine-minute mark in the 3,200 meter run.
Jenks was the first runner to break a Drake Relays record, as she posted a 3,000 meters time of 9 minutes, 26.87 seconds, shattering Katie Flood’s Drake Relays record from 2010. Jenks defended her title after taking a huge lead in the race and set an all-time Iowa best mark.
“I knew what the record was going in,” Jenks said. I knew this was the year that I wanted to do it because Katie Flood was here. I thought it would mean more to me and to her. I knew where I was at the entire time for setting the record. The plan was to go out slow and go out in about 71 or 72 seconds and stay on pace from there.”
In the following race, Meier finished the 3,200 meter run with a time of 8.58.46. Meier led a trio of finishers that finished ahead of the meet record of 9:05.58 set in 2011 by Kevin Lewis.
“It feels great,” Meier said. “Just to be up there with the best, breaking nine. It was my dream and I finally did it, so I’m happy.”
Former Des Moines Christian athlete Lindsay Lettow defended her Drake Relays heptathlon title, the eighth time in Drake Relays history that there has been a repeat heptathlon champion, compiling 5,619 points to win the event. Lettow was a two-time NCAA Division II champion in the heptathlon and a two-time champ in the pentathlon at Central Missouri, where she was coached by 15-time Drake Relays decathlon champion and 2000 Olympian Kip Janvrin. She placed in the top four in every event and placed first in the 200. Heather Miller Koch was second with 5,410 points, and Erica Twiss of Kansas State finished third with a score of 5,340.
Former Central College standout Kurtis Brondyke was crowned the decathlon champion with a final score of 7,283. Nathanial Franks of Arkansas finished second with a score of 7,107, while the two-time defending champion, Daniel Gooris, placed third with a score of 7,087.
Washington swept the men’s and women’s 4x1600 relays for the third time in Drake Relays history, joining Stanford (2003) and Minnesota (2009). In the women’s race, the Huskies finished with a time of 19:09.31, a U.S. leading mark. The men’s relay crossed the finish line in 16:21.46, which is the second-fastest winning time in the past 20 years.
Alexis Conaway of MOC-FV became the second prep to win three high jump titles in the Drake Relays with a leap of 5-5.
“To get the Drake Relays title three years in a row is an awesome experience,” Conaway said. “To be put in the same category of Hannah Willms is awesome. She is amazing,”
Ole Miss freshman Mary Alex England edged Ohio State’s Michelle Thomas in the women’s 10,000-meter run, crossing the finish line in 34:48.66.
Trent Lusignan won the men’s 10,000 meters in 29:55.69, while Drake’s Conor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) was seventh with a personal-best time of 30:12.42
Action will start at 8 a.m. Friday morning with the high school girls’ 100-meter hurdles prelims. Friday figures to be a beautiful day with temperatures forecasted to be in the 70’s, little wind and clear skies.