Waukee Has Strong Representation at Drake Relays
In Iowa, not many high school sporting moments compare to running at the Drake Relays. The Blue Oval, the roaring crowd and the fast competition combine to form one of the most electrifying atmospheres in high school athletics.
Rain couldn’t keep the Warriors from showing off their speed and athletic abilities as the Warriors took on the Blue Oval for the 106th Drake Relays. Even in the rainy and cold conditions, many Waukee athletes managed to produce personal bests.
Waukee started the relays off with Senior Nathan Keck in the high jump. Keck jumped 6’3″ and finished 15th out of 29 competitors. Keck keeps on improving meet by meet, as that was his season best.
The boys started Friday off by winning the first Drake Relays flag on the boys’ side. Senior Erik Nelson won the discus with a throw of 187 feet and 8 inches. Nelson beat the second place finish by an astonishing 12 feet and 1 inch.
Waukee’s next event of the day was the 110 high hurdles prelims and finals, where junior Nick Wessels qualified for the finals and finished 7th overall. Wessels ran 14.86 to qualify for finals and ran 15.18 through stronger wind in the finals.
Waukee knew they would have a target on their backs entering the 4×200 meter relay. After winning the event last year, the Warriors had the opportunity to become repeat champions. As a team with experience, seniors Pat Gray, Trevor Allen, Ross Vogel and Koy Schneiter received a third place finish and were only one second from the first and second placers.
If Waukee is known for one thing in the track and field world, it’s their shuttle hurdle, and again Waukee proved they are still the team to beat by running a 56.62 and earning yet another Drake Relays flag. With the relays coming to an end, Waukee had one last chance to deliver yet another victory in the 4×400. The race came down to the wire with a tough Cedar Falls team but Gray was able to out-lean them to win the race and secure the final flag of the relays.
The girls’ track team brought their A-game to Drake, especially in their relay groups. Waukee’s 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800, shuttle hurdle relay and sprint medley all placed within the top four. The 4×100 (Maddie Sehman, Gabi Gaines, Shaye Witte, Elma Vojic) and 4×200 (Gaines, Taylor Gates, Witte, Vojic) placed second with times of 48.07 and 1:41.18 and broke school records. The shuttle hurdle relay (Hannah Schau, Lauren Nelson, Mary Kate Gray, Danielle Modrell) finished first with a time of 1:03.55.
“It’s an amazing feeling to set two school records, especially since it’s my senior year,” Gaines said, who holds this year’s relays close to her heart.
In individual events, senior Erika Lewis ran a 2:12.38 in the 800 meter run, placing third at Drake, but also moving her to second on the all-time list at Waukee. Also running in the 800 was Lily Campbell (2:17.08). She placed 11th at the relays but her time moved her up to fourth all-time at Waukee.
Junior Rachel Brush broke her own school record in the 3000 meter run (10:17.99) and finished 10th overall at the meet (Brush also ran the 1500 meter run and finished in 17th place with a time of 4:53.20).
“It was a great feeling because it let me know that all my hard work in the season and offseason had really paid off,” Brush said, regarding her improvement on Waukee’s record.
Lewis boosted her Drake credentials by coming in third place in the 400 meter hurdles. Her time of 63.23 set a new Waukee record.
“I’ve been working on that record since my freshman year. Going into Drake, I briefly thought ‘wow I could actually do it this time,’ but didn’t really think about it until I crossed the finish line and saw my time. After that I couldn’t stop smiling,” Lewis stated.
Other events included the 100 meter run (Vojic, fourth place at Drake, 12.30 time), 100 meter hurdles (Schau, 15th, 16.02. Modrell, 27th, 16.42), long jump (Meaghan Jerrard, 9th, 17 feet 1 and ¾ inches. Witte, 21st, 15 feet 6 and ½ inches), discus (Lindy Jones, 18th, 116 feet and 7 inches).