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Outstanding Performers Named For 2011 Drake Relays

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: May 02, 2011
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Shelby Houlihan of Sioux City East, 2011 high school girls outstanding performer
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Monday, May 2, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa-The 102nd Annual Drake Relays are in the books and today the meet's Outstanding Performers have been named.

University of Cincinnati hurdler Terence Somerville is the Maury White Award winner as men's collegiate and open outstanding performer, while Iowa native and U.S. Olympian Jenny Barringer Simpson took home the honors in the women's collegiate and open division. The Robert Kramme Award winner as boys' outstanding performer is James Harrington of Cedar Falls High School, and the Gerry Cooley Award winner as girls' outstanding performer is Shelby Houlihan of Sioux City East.

Somerville, a junior, lit up the track in Saturday's final of the men's university/college 110-meter hurdles, finishing in a Drake Relays record time of 13.48. That effort eclipsed the 1987 record of 13.49 by Texas Southern's Vernon George. Somerville also anchored Cincinnati's victorious 4x110 meter shuttle hurdle team that finished in 57.48 earlier Saturday.

Iowa native Barringer Simpson returned to her home state and won the women's 1,500 meters in 4:09.56. Her time is the second-fastest U.S. women's outdoor 1,500 time this year and presently ranks sixth in the world. Barringer Simpson, a 2008 U.S. Olympian and the American record-holder in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, also is the collegiate record-holder in the steeplechase, running 9:29.12 at Drake Stadium in the 2008 NCAA Championships.

Harrington won his second Drake Relays title in the 100-meter dash on Friday, and was part of three other Cedar Falls victories in the relays. His 100-meter time of 10.84 improved his 2010 winning time of 11.01. Also on Friday he anchored Cedar Falls' 4x200 relay team that broke the Drake Relays record with a time of 1:27.41, topping Waterloo West's 1990 record of 1:27.45, and ran the first leg of Cedar Falls' winning 1600-meter sprint medley relay, which finished in 3:31.54. Harrington came back Saturday to anchor his school to a win in the 4x100 relay in a time of 42.23 that narrowly missed the record of 42.19.

Houlihan became just the second high school competitor and first girls' high school athlete to win three individual events in the same year at the Drake Relays. Houlihan won her sixth career Drake Relays individual event Saturday with a 4:29.26 finish in the 1,500 meters, second-fastest in the nation this year. Houlihan also captured the 800-meter and 3,000-meter titles this weekend. The last three-win prep was Darwin Vande Hoef of Rock Valley, who won the boys' high jump, 400 hurdles and 110 hurdles in 1989.

The 102nd Drake Relays saw 14 records broken and one tied over three days of outstanding competition. The Friday evening attendance of 11,131 set a record for that session since it was introduced in 2006, and the Saturday attendance of 14,504 tied the 2009 "100th Drake Relays" celebration for the largest crowd since the 2006 stadium reconfiguration, extending the Relays' Saturday sell-out streak to 46 consecutive years.

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