Six World Bests Set On Friday At 105th Drake Relays
DES MOINES, Iowa – World-leading marks were set in each of the Moscow World Championship Rematches, as the elite events lived up to the hype and put on a show for the crowd of 10,924 at Drake Stadium during the Hy-Vee Night at the Drake Relays to highlight the action from Friday of the 105th running of the Drake Relays.
In the first elite event of the evening session, Hansle Parchment of Jamaica came away as the champion, with a world-leading time of 13.14 in the men’s 110-Meter Hurdles Moscow World Championship Rematch. His time set a new Drake Relays record, previously set by David Oliver in 2012, who’s 13.23 time was good for second in the event. Ryan Wilson, the reigning USA outdoor champion, finished third with a time of 13.30.
“I didn’t expect to have such a fast time,” Parchment said. “I was thinking somewhere between 13.4 or 13.5, so this race opened my eyes that I can run even faster. Today was the first race and we usually don’t run so quickly on the first time out, we usually build up as the season goes on, so this time was a good start.”
The excitement continued in the next event, the women’s Special Invitational Shuttle Hurdle Relay. Des Moines native, Lolo Jones, ran the second leg of the USA Red relay team that won the race with the second-best time in the history of the event, 50.93, Jones ran with Brianna Rollins, Vashti Thomas and Queen Harrison. The Jamaican team, consisting of Shermaine Williams, Andrea Bliss, Monique Morgan and LaToya Greaves, was the second-place finisher with a time of 52.01.
The hurdlers, many of which mentioned how excited they were to run in the shuttle hurdle relay, an event that many have not run since high school or college, continued to express their excitement following the race.
“I think it’s a really fun event and I was really upset they didn’t include the shuttle hurdles at the World Relays Championship in the Bahamas,” Harrison said. “We are going to keep putting up these times and pretty soon we won’t be denied but as long as they keep having it at Drake, I’ll keep coming.”
In the men’s High Jump Moscow World Championship Rematch, a battle between the final three jumpers ensued after Derek Drouin, Erik Kynard, and Dusty Jonas all surpassed the existing Drake Relays record of 7 feet, 7 inches, set by Brian Brown in 1997 and matched by Jonas in 2011 and 2013. The trio of jumpers went on to clear the 7-08.50 mark, which surpassed Kynard’s Drake Stadium record from 2012. Drouin continued to raise the bar and won the event with a 7-10.50 clearance on the final attempt, which improved upon his existing Canadian record in the event. Kynard placed second in the event and Jonas finished in third.
World-leading times continued to fall on the Blue Oval in the men’s 400-Meter Moscow World Championship Rematch, as the top three finishers all posted lower times than the world-leading mark coming into the event. LaShawn Merritt won the event in 44.44, just 0.03 shy of the Drake Relays record of 44.41 set by Michael Johnson in 1996. Kirani James finished second in the event with a time of 44.60, and Luguelin Santos was on his heels, finishing third at 44.72.
“It was my first time at the Drake Relays,” Merritt said. “The crowd was awesome. I like how they cheered my name before I started. Great atmosphere. I definitely will be back next year.”
Michael Tinsley set a world-leading time in the men’s 400-Meter Hurdles Moscow World Championship Rematch, crossing the finish line in 48.57, edging Javier Culson’s second-place time of 48.68. Johnny Dutch took third place in 49.24.
Tinsley was impressed with the depth of the field this early in the season, saying “I was kind of nervous coming out against a deep field this early. Usually you have a couple of meets to get your races under you before you go against the big cats. Today you have to come out ready to run.”
The women’s 1,500 Meter Moscow World Championship Rematch ended with Hellen Obiri picking up the pace in the bell lap, setting a world-leading time of 4:04.88. In a battle for second, Brenda Martinez edged Grand Blue Mile champion Heather Kampf with a time of 4:06.96. The top three finishers all posted times that were faster than the previous world-leading mark.
2012 Olympic silver medalist and defending Drake Relays champion, Yarisley Silva defended her title in the women’s Pole Vault Moscow World Championship Rematch, using a 15-03.5 clearance to separate from the field and set a world-leading mark. Mary Saxer finished in second place with a 14-07.5 clearance, while Katerina Stefanidi was third soaring 14-03.5.
The Hy-Vee Cup began with the university men’s and women’s 4x800 relays in the evening session. Purdue won the women’s relay in 8:34.19, giving the Boilermakers 10 points in the team standings. Baylor finished second for eight points, while Missouri finished third for six points. Washington’s relay won the men’s event in 7:18.50 to take the lead in the team standings, edging Arkansas and Illinois.
The first meet record to fall Friday came in the boys’ 1600 sprint medley, where Linn-Mar broke a 10-year old meet record, finishing with a 3:26.89 mark, the sixth best time in state history.
“This is the best feeling,” senior anchor Josh Evans said. “When I get done I was going nuts and all these guys are running up going nuts. It’s the coolest feeling in the world. It is so much more fun winning as a team than anything individual.”
Urbandale senior Mary Young set a Drake Relays record with a time of 14.30 in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles. Young will call the Blue Oval her home track next year as she will run track at Drake.
“Most of the time with hurdles, it’s hard to tell. It’s kind of a risky race,” Young said. “Anything can happen, but as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was just happy. I couldn’t believe that it happened.”
Other results worth noting occurred early in the day, with Kiana Phelps of Kingsley-Pierson Wood County defended her title in the girls’ discus with a heave of 151 feet, 10 inches, which was over 10 feet further than the second place finisher. Rico Gafford of Dowling Catholic finished just shy of setting a meet record with the second-best all-time mark in Iowa of 10.62 to win the boys’ 100-meter dash, beating Bryson Runge of City High and Meliek Meyer of Lynnville-Sully. Assumption took the title in the girls’ 4x200-meter relay, crossing the finish line with the fifth-best time in Iowa state history of 1:41.71. And Carter Lilly, a senior from Sioux City East, set the meet record with a time of 1:54.62 in the boys’ 800-meter run, and was one of the two runners in the field that beat the 2012 record pace in the event. Creston’s Jay Wolfe was second in the event with a 1:55.05 mark.
In collegiate action, a 31-year old meet record was nearly eclipsed in the preliminaries of the men’s 100-meter dash, where Baylor’s Trayvon Bromell was 0.05 shy of Calvin Smith’s 1983 record in the event of 10.11. Wayland Baptist captured its 24th relay win and 27th overall Drake Relays title by sweeping the men’s and women’s college 4 x 200 meter relays.
Four Moscow World Championship Rematch titles are on the line, as well as the conclusion of the Hy-Vee Cup, as the Saturday session of the Drake Relays is setting up to be another exciting day at Drake Stadium. The action starts at 8 a.m. with the high school girls’ shuttle hurdle relay prelims.