2014 Drake Relays, Presented by Hy-Vee, Competitor Quotes, Friday, April 25, 2014

Yarislay Silva, photo by PhotoRun.net

2014 Drake Relays - Quotes - April, 25

2014 Drake Relays Presented By Hy-Vee

Competitor Quotes

Friday, April 25, 2014

9:30 a.m. - Long Jump - HS Girls Final


Jalynn Roberts-Lewis, Sr., Roosevelt, 19-0 (5.79m)

Also won the high school girls 100-meter race today

On being a multiple event winner...

"Coming from winning the long jump to the 100 was an amazing feeling and accomplishment. It's my senior year and my third time winning the long jump in a row and I set a PR (personal record)."

9:45 a.m. - High Jump - HS Boys Final


Jeff Giannettino, JR, West Burlington Notre Dame, 7-0 (2.13m)

How big is it to hit the 7 foot barrier?

"It's great to keep improving and hit a PR (personal record). I've been wanting the 7-foot mark for a while now and it feels great to get it. Now I have to strive for even higher."

What did you think facing likely tougher competition than you are used to seeing?

"Yeah it was tougher but I'm lucky to have Xavier (Williams; WBND teammate who finished 3rd) with me and he usually puts up a good fight. Which is good because we push each to do better. Especially we both got new PRs."

10:00 a.m. - Distance Medley Relay - CD Women Final

Champion - Augustana (SD)

Kyle Blakeslee (Sr.), Carina Hofmeister (So.), Kayla Mescher (Jr.), Kristen Brondbo (Sr.), 11:32.87

What was going through your mind as Kristen, the anchor, was running down the final 70 meters?

Blakeslee: "I knew Kristen (Brondbo) was going to catch her. She kicks like a champ and now we are champs."

How's it feel to be Drake Relay champions?

Hofmeister: "We finished fourth last year but we love the crowd here at Drake. Everyone is cheering no matter where you are from. We don't get that at meets we go to."

10:14 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - HS Girls Final

Champion - School

Davenport Assumption High School

Emma Bassier (Sr.), Markel Mommsen (Sr.), Maddie Irmen (Sr.), Rose Ripslinger (Sr.), 1:45.79

On how it feels to be a Drake Relays champion ...

Emma Bassier: "Its indescribable really. It's the biggest meet we go to all year, all season, and to win it is prestigious, and we will remember it for the rest of our lives."

Finally breaking through after coming up just short last year at the Drake Relays

Emma Bassier: "No, we come every year to run, and a few of us ran on a 4x400 as sophomores that won, but last year we competed hard, but didn't quite get what we wanted,so we came back hungry this year."

10:27 a.m. - Sprint Medley Relay - HS Boys Final

Champion - Linn-Mar

Tristan Freese (Jr.), Daniel Gorsich (So.), Dalton Gosch (Fr.), Josh Evans (Sr.), 3:26.89

Set a Drake Relays record

On competing with his teammates ...  

Josh Evans: "This is the best feeling. 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."

On setting a Drake Relays record as a freshman ...

Dalton Gosich: "I'm just excited.  This is my first win at Drake and my first race at Drake. It feels really good. I'm just proud of my whole team right now."

On when you handed it to Josh, knowing his pedigree, did you know you were in a good spot?

Dalton Gosich: "I knew we were in pretty good shape. Josh always goes all out.  He is a great competitor."

10:45 a.m. - 4x800 - CD Men Final

Champion - Oklahoma Baptist, 7:32.00

Travis Hinton (JR), Adam Godwin (SR), Jywayne Allen (SO), Clay Shepperson (SO)

Same team that ran and won at last year's Relays

On how does it feel to win again...

Clay Shepperson: "It was really awesome.  A lot of us, actually all four of us, have been dealing with injuries this year and it was great to come back and to actually and run together as a group and get to win it again."

On how was your time compared to last year ...

Clay Shepperson: "It was maybe a half second slower than last year, so it looks like we're in good shape."

Travis Hinton: "To come out here with injuries and run what we did, we'll take it any day!"

On track conditions

Clay Shepperson: It was so great, so much nicer than last year, a little warmer, and the track is in great shape.

On fans following you all the way from Oklahoma

Travis Hinton: "We have some parents, but we got some Twitter people following us!

On finishing college career with Drake Relays win

Adam Godwin: "It was awesome. What a way to finish!"

11:36 a.m. - 100-Meter Hurdles - HS Girls Final


Mary Young, Senior,  Urbandale High School, 14.30

Signed to run at Drake next season.

On what motivated you for the win

"It was my prelims time, I think I kind of went out faster and stronger going into the finals."

On weather and how it helped the race

"As far as the whole track season, it was probably one of the most beautiful days to have Drake Relays on."

On what point in the race you knew you were going to come in first place

"Most of the time with hurdles, it's hard to tell. It's kind of a risky race, anything can happen, but as soon as I crossed the finish line, I was just happy. I couldn't believe that it happened."

11:40 a.m. - 110-Meter Hurdles - HS Boys Final

Sydne Davis, SR, Des Moines Roosevelt, 14.20

First Drake Relays championship.

On what it feels like to be a Drake Relays champion ...

"It feels really good because last year i fell short, I ended up winning state though in the 400 meter hurdles, but i really wanted to win the drake relays because this is where the main competition is a t because all the classes are here not just your own class."

On what his strategy for the race was ...

"My strategy was to get out fast, maintain, keep looking straight, and try not to let anyone catch me,but  i ended up catching my friend Elijah."

11:58 a.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - UC/CD Women Final

Champion--Alexis Franklin, So., Ohio State, 57.81

Finished second a season ago.

On how was her race in a fast heat ...

"I was really happy with my time.  It was a fast heat. II got second last year so it was so great to win this year."

On being a sophomore and a Relays Champion ...

"Yeah, I got two more years so I hope it can only get better."

On what it takes to get better going forward ...

"Training is what it takes to get better. I was happy with my time even though it was a little slower than last year.  Just being in the 57 range is what I wanted, but I hope to be in the 56 range yet this season.

12:00 p.m. - Shot Put - UC/CD Women Final


Dani Bunch, Sr., Purdue, 56-3.75

Wins the title on her third trip to the Drake Relays.

On being a Drake Relays champion...

"It's new and its foreign. I'm usually here with elite-level throwers. They are off doing their own thing and training for a world meet. It's so refreshing to be the winner. It's great and I love it."

On what is next ....

"We are going to have one more meet before we get to host conference. So start preparing for that. It's going to be awesome to host the conference meet."

12:11 p.m. - 100 Meters - HS Girls Final


Jalynn Roberts-Lewis, Senior, Roosevelt, 12.24

Fourth year in a row a girl from Des Moines Roosevelt has won the 100 meters.

On how does it feel to be a champion?

"Awesome! All my hard work has paid off so it feels great."

On what have you done to prepare for this ...

"I just practice as hard as I can and push my limits every practice."

On the Roosevelt sprinters consistently winning Drake Relays titles ...

"I just think its really cool that we have a really big program and girls keep coming through and they want to run and everyone works hard every single day at  practice, so that helps as a team.  We are all really good friends."

12:28 p.m. - 100 Meters - HS Boys Final


Rico Gafford, SR WDM Dowling Catholic, 10.62

How do you feel coming out of the box?

"I felt great. I thought I got a good start and ran hard all the way to end.

What was the feeling getting first?

"It felt good.I didn't see anyone beside and knew I won."

12:30 p.m. - Pole Vault - UC/CD Men Final


Peter Geraghty (SR), Eastern Illinois, 18-0.5

On what it felt like while vaulting ...

"My speed was right, my take-off was good-- the action felt really clean.  Pole vaulting is a really simple sport.  If you can get your numbers to work right and get your legs feeling pretty good, you can generally finish a good jump every jump."

On being a Drake Relays Champion ...

"Competing on a venue is just a really fun thing. I've come to Drake once before. I always have a great time here and to win it makes it more fun."

12:45 p.m. - 800 Meters - Masters


Lance Elliott, Edina, Minn., Unattached, 2:03.50

Previously won two years ago. Ran at the Relays in 1988 and 1989 during high school.

On thoughts during the race

"I stayed back in the pack, really tried to conserve and waited until the last 100 meters to make that move."

12:51 p.m. - 4x200 - CD Women Final

Champion - Wayland Baptist, 1:36.03

Angie Quiah (JR), Alexis Browner (FR), Shani Adams (FR), Gortia Ferguson (SR),

On what their strategy was running the race

Quiah: "I started the race, I've been battling my knee hurting, but i just said you know what all I have to do is get out there and run as fast as I can because I want my team to be in this race, so I just went out there and did the best I could."

Browner: "I was trying to not let the stagger get so big, and catch up so we weren't so far behind,and I did my job, and stuck to Shani, and she ran."

Adams: "My strategy was to basically open up my stride because my coach was telling me I needed to, so that was basically what I was working on and it worked."

Ferguson: "My strategy was just to hold what I had when Shani gave me the baton,and I don't know, one thing in my head was just go, go , go, accelerate and beat Lincoln."

1:00 p.m. - High Jump - UC/CD Women Final


Erika Hurd, Sophomore, Cincinnati,

First time participating in Drake Relays.

On the weather

"This was the most perfect weather I could've asked for, it didn't affect me."

On her strategy

"To stay calm and keep doing what I do. My approach was my main focus today, but then when I got higher I wanted to focus on just staying straight up in the air because I usually throw myself into the bar. So I tried staying straight up in the air to clear the bar."

1:00 p.m. - Javelin - UC/CD Women Final

Champion - Kara Patterson, Asics, 186-10

American record holder and 2014 U.S. leader Kara Patterson, Asics, threw 186-10 on first attempt followed by 180-3 on second attempt before fouling. She passed on all three attempts in the finals.

On her strategy for today

"Obviously it was a gorgeous day for throwing in perfect conditions. I would have liked to have thrown real far. I felt great but my technique wasn't really great and because my technique wasn't great I tweaked my knee a little bit. It is still healing from ACL surgery last year. That's why I passed throwing in the finals."

Why did you pass in the finals...

"I'm fine but it wasn't worth it getting my knee sore for rest of season."

Her goals going into today's competition...

"I wanted to improve on my throw at the Texas Relays (U.S. leading mark (196-4) and steadily get better as the year goes on. I was prepared for the season to be a little bit of learning experience with my knee. I just have to be patient."

On what the Relays mean to her...

"I always love coming back to the Drake Relays. I choose to come to Drake my senior year at Purdue because my grandparents are from Fort Dodge and I set the American record here (2010)."

What's next...

"My next meet will be in Doha, Qatar on May 9 for first Diamond League meet for women's javelin."

1:00 p.m. - Discus  - UC/CD Women Final


Mary Theisen, SR, Indiana St, 174-00 (53.03m)

Third time competing at the Drake Relays. Will throw the hammer on Saturday morning.

On being a Drake Relays Champion...

"This is my third year competing here. Honestly I didn't think I had a chance to win until this year. I threw the shot right before and then went over immediately to the discus. It's feel pretty good to a champion."

On the mindset it takes to switch quickly from shot to discus

"The shot is so powerful. I had to relax after shot, but I still was so excited. It felt like practice going back and forth so fast. My first few throws were a little iffy then I was able to settle in."

1:03 p.m. - 4x200 - CD Men Final

Champion - Wayland Baptist

Justin Scruggs (SO), Lorenzo Dolphus (SR), Stephen Sutherland (SO), Durawn Howard (JR),  1:24.62

On being a Drake Relays champion ...

Dolphus:  "We've been here before, we've won here before, so it's always great to come to such a great track meet-- so prestigious and difficult to cross the finish line."

On a race strategy ...

Dolphus:  "We didn't really have one-- we don't get to run this race that many times, so when we came here, we came here with four fast guys."

1:15 p.m. - 4x200 - HS Girls Final

Champion - Assumption

Emma Bassier SR, Maddie Irmen SR, Rose Ripslinger SR, Markel Mommsen, 1:41.71

On what's going through your mind in the third hear ...

Bassier: "The only thing going through my mind was to run best and focus on our handoffs because that is where we can gain the most ground.

On competing at Drake ...

Bassier: "We all competed in the past years. Maddi, Rose and I were here last year. Markel transferred to the team and fits in really well obviously.

On how important the start of the race is ...

Bassier: "Starting is my favorite so I love when I get to start relays. I like all technical things that go into starting the race on a good foot."

1:27 p.m. - 4x200 - HS Boys Final

Champion: Waukee

Nihad Ejubovic SR, Trevor Allen JR, AJ Allen SR, Corbin Lowe SR, 1:27.81

What was it like, going into final 100 meters?

Ejubovic: "I was nervous, but it was a great experience for us. I am just so happy, I can't wait to see my coach, my teammates and give them a hug."

When you guys see he crossed the line, and see how you did it, what you feel?

AJ Allen: "It was exciting, it was the best race for all of us, we worked hard.  There are great teams here and we are so happy."

1:30 p.m. - Long Jump - UC/CD Men Final


Patrick Raedler, SR, Nebraska, 7.76 M


Did you know who hit the big one when it happened?

Raedler: "It felt like a really jump. I usually struggle in moments like that.

To Eric Bertelsen, unoffically finished 3rd. What did you think when you lost the lead?

Bertelsen: "Hey, they were good jumps. They hit their jumps on their last jump and made it count."

To Raymond Higgs and Willie Alexander. Was this the most elite group of jumpers you have been with?

Higgs: Yeah, I mean everybody competed together before so we know what to expect. I feel pretty good coming off injury (hamstring).

Alexander: Yeah, this was toughest I've ever face and it's awesome to see how hard you need to work to win.

I knew you had the potential to overtake Bertelsen, but what did you think of Raedler's jump?

Higgs: Honestly, I thought we could go back and forth all day. I'm looking for the SEC Championships and Nationals.

Bertelsen had the leading mark until Raedler and Higgs broke it on their final jumps.

1:39 p.m. - 800 Meters - HS Girls Final


Kaley Ciluffo, JR, Pleasant Valley, 2:10.23

On the strategy coming into the race and then leading ...

Ciluffo: "I actually felt this was a bad workout week for me and kind of started to doubt myself."

On a win like this boosting confidence ...

"The past two years, I knew I could win, I just didn't. But it definitely helps knowing I can't hold back when a win right there in front of me."

1:45 p.m. - 800 Meters - HS Boys Final

Champion: Carter Lilly, SR, SC- East, 1:54.62

Relays Record

How do you feel to be a Relays champion?

"First I need to get away out there and do final back stretch. I was so nervous, It was so important race for me. I feel tired and so happy."

What was your goal coming into the race?

"It was I guess 1:59. I wasn't that confident coming in and by running was really trying to stay with the leaders and then finish by outrunning them."

1:51 p.m. - 800 Meters - UC/CD Women Final


Megan Malasarte, Sr., Georgia, 2:03.61

On the heat today ...

"I race really well in heat, I love the heat. I have different attitudes when I go into races depending on the weather."

On the start of the race ...

"That was miserable. I definitely got boxed in and cut off pretty fast but I used it to my advantage because I'm more of a negative splitting kind of person."

5:45 p.m. - Pole Vault - MWCR Women

Yarisley Silva, Cuba, 15-3.5

On the competition today ...

"I am very happy because I have been here before and the meet went well."

On jumping while the Moscow Rematch High Jump was on ....

"I am really happy because I could see them jump high and it made it difficult because it was happening right in front of me."

On headwind in final jumps ...

"First there was no wind, but then we had the wind and it made it more difficult because there was more force. Before there was no wind, but I have jumped in it before."

On delays ....

"It was the same, it gave me more time to prepare. More space between allows me more time to prepare for the vault. I make one height then it gives me more time to prepare for the next jump. I jumped well and jumped high because I had that time to prepare."

Second Place

Mary Saxer, Unattached, 14-7.5

On the jump rounds ....

"The early rounds were good, but then the wind got switchy. You could wait and get a favorable wind, but when it go to the third and fourth height we had a straight headwind. That was a little tricky. We both cleared on our third attempt. I felt like I competed, but did not jump as high as I wanted, but it was a great job."

On competing by the high jumpers ....

"Definitely. They would get the claps going then we would get the claps going it created more energy. I feel like with my training I am jumping well and I think I am off to a good start this season. I jumped in the mall on Wednesday as my second time out. Sometimes in the pole vault your height misses early don't reflect how you feel. Wednesday I felt really good, but did not jump as well as I wanted. It was my fourth time to jump there."

On delays due to fireworks malfunction ...

"You have to be prepared for whatever in a competition. Actually before I went we had the national anthem, then the delay for the fireworks it was like should I have went. I don't know. It did give me time to take a breather and be ready for the competition."

6:00 p.m. - High Jump - MWCR Men


Derek Drouin, Nike, 7-10.5

Breaks Drake Relays, Drake Stadium, and Canadian national record.

On breaking Drake Relays Director Brian Brown's record at his own event ...

"It's cool, as long as he's okay with it, I guess. I think it was with the field they brought in it was bound to be broken, it was only a matter of time."   

On what it was like battling against Erik Kynard and Dusty Jonas ...

"It was as good as a competition as you will find anywhere. In Moscow last year, World Championships, it showed the direction the event is heading, we had three guys make 2.38, and it looks like that tier of event is not going anywhere. It looks like its here to stay"

On this being his first meet of the year, setting a personal best, and how it sets up 2014 ...

"I tried to open the season indoors, and injured myself a little bit, so I'm starting a lot later than I ever have before so I've gotten a lot of training in. I think with it not being a championship season, it gives us a chance to relax, so things like this sometimes happen.

Second Place

Erik Kynard, Nike, 7-8.5

On the evening ....

"It was a great night. It was a season-opener for me. While I am not satisfied with second no matter how well I did, but 7-8.5 is really good. It is going to be a crazy year. He (winner Derek Drouin) jumps 7-10.5, everyone is jumping well, so it is going to be a crazy year. It's a competition. Once one guy goes over then you have to go over. You have to be patient and focus on the bar and create your own favorable position. You have to remain in tune and focus on you."

On the experience ....

"I was focused on what I was doing. I was like Vin Diesel in 'Fast and Furious.' I didn't even watch the meet really. I was looking at my mark and focusing on jumping well. All in all it was a good start for me and looking forward to see what the year is going to bring."

Third Place

Dusty Jonas, USA, 7-8.5

Top three broke former stadium record of 7-7 set by Drake Relays Director Brian Brown in 1997, and tied by Jonas in 2011

On the event ....

"That was amazing. I love the fans here. I am from just down the road (Lincoln, Nebraska) and even though I'm from south Texas, but I feel the Midwest is my new home. They are a great crowd and they love their track and field. They were loud and in to it."

On the excitement of the Moscow rematches in pole vault and high jump ....

"I didn't realize all the excitement. half the time I didn't even know where I was at. I just came to have fun. I am coming off an injury and I was just focusing on what I was doing."

On the record ...

"We went over the record three times, but you needed to go over four times. I was tied with that mark since 2011, but I knew it was going down tonight. After I cleared 7-08.5 I said if he clears the next one it will be on. I don't think anyone is going to touch that 7-10.5. It was a special night. He (Brian Brown) was giddy. He was just giddy. He puts on a great meet. The whole week is great."

6:43 p.m. - 110-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Men


Hansle Parchment, Jamaica, 13.14

2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist; 110H PR of 13.05 set in 2013. Tonight's time is a new world-leading mark.

On returning to the Drake Relays ....

"I was here last year as well, where I finished in last place. It wasn't so great. I was happy to come out here and win today."

On his first race of the season ....

"I didn't expect to have such a fast time, 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."

On training in 2014 ...

"The main focus of 2014 is getting 100% healthy. With next year being the World Championships, staying healthy is the main focus."

On his hamstring injury ....

"Last year I had some hamstring issues still from high school, but I am good now. Today was an eye opener. I don't want to go too hard now since it's an off-season. I want maintain health so I can compete next year in the best form I can."

7:05 p.m. - Shuttle Hurdle Relay - Special Women


Bri Rollins, Lolo Jones, Queen Harrison, Vashti Thomas, 50.93

Lolo Jones on how it felt to run competitively for the first time in a while ...

Jones:  "It's always fun to come home and race and get the first one under you. This one was really thrilling because it was a shuttle and I was running with a team that was a new match up for all of us, so that was fun."

Lolo Jones on continuing the "team" mentality from bobsledding to the shuttle relay

Jones: "It was weird because in bobsledding we have this saying, 'We're a team within a team' because I can't help them drive, just like I can't help these girls get over the hurdles, but together we are a team. We all give our best efforts and we'll have a good race all together so it was very similar to bobsledding."

Lolo Jones on being a "spectator" after her leg

Jones: "It was interesting because [Bri] Rollins gave us a great start, but then when it was my turn, I made like, the biggest hurdle mistake and I stutter stepped to nine on a seven-step approach which is almost unheard of in a hurdle race, basically sitting in a coffin and your race is over, so when I crossed the line I was ready to hand it off to Queen. If it had been an individual race, Lolo would be in last (laughs)."

Queen Harrison on her handoff from Lolo Jones

Harrison: "I was a little nervous when I saw the one jump over the hurdle of Lolo's (laughs) but overall I thought it was a great race for all of us and I think everyone did what they could do today. All of us put everything on the line and I'm happy with the result. It's hard to complain with a win."

Lolo Jones on waving the Drake Relays Champion flag

Jones: "A win is always a win. It doesn't matter if it's a slow time, a fast time, you get to walk away with the extra adrenaline of a win."

Lolo Jones on running for her Des Moines fans

Jones: "You know, it felt great, I just wish I wouldn't have messed up the start. I feel like I'm good shape and I feel powerful from bobsledding but I feel like I let the team down a little bit and we could have run a little faster."

Harrison: "I'm just glad she finished the race if she would have bailed out after that first hurdle then I really would have killed her (laughs)."

Queen Harrison on running this event in the future

Harrison: "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. 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."

7:15 p.m. - 4x200 - UD Women Final

Champion Notre Dame

Kaila Barber, Margret Bamgbose, Michelle Brown, Aijah Urssery, 1:34:54

On what they were thinking during the race:

Brown: "Well we just really wanted to get a good start."

Bamgbose: "Kaila got off to a really great first 200."

Brown: "And Aijah just brought it home."

On the competition....

Brown: "We didn't really know who we were gonna go up against. We knew there were going to be some fast schools in there so we knew it was going to be tough and it was going to take a lot of effort."

Bamgbose: "I think we were all a little nervous, we just really wanted to get out there and have fun."

7:35 p.m. - 400 Meters - MWCR Men


LaShawn Merritt, Nike, 44.44

Raced on the Blue Oval this past summer at the USA Championships. First time competing at the Drake Relays.

On what went on in the race ....

"Kirani was on my outside. I knew it was going to be a great race. It was one of the most serious races I've ever ran this early in the season and with the field and whole world championship rematch on top of it. I knew everyone was going to come prepared. My mental part was there. I'm feeling good."

On winning....

"It was a little tough with the windy conditions. I got that win so I'm satifisied. My goal was to come out and the get the win."

On competing at the Drake Relays for the first time...

"First time at Drake. The crowd was awesome. I like how they cheered my name before I started. Great atmosphere. I definitely will be back next year."

Third Place

Luguelin Santos, Dominican Republic, 44.72

2012 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2013 World Championships Bronze Medalist

On today's race ....

"It started off very good. The race was nice. [LaShawn] Merritt is very talented and tough to race against."

On his new season best....

"That was a good time for this early in the year."

On training for 2014 ...

"This year is about recouping."

7:43 p.m. - 4x200 - UD Men Final

Champion - Georgia
Jamario Calhoun, Jonathan Smith, Reggie Glover, Maurice Freeman,
On what it means to be a Drake Relays Champion
Smith: "It's always fun to be here, I was just hoping to get one of those flags to."

On the feeling of the big crowd at the Drake Relays

Glover: "It's a big confidence booster."

Smith: "I think its the only relay that actually does that, maybe at Penn too but we haven't run that, [Drake] is the only relay we've been to that has that opportunity to run in front of such a big crowd."

8:00 p.m. - 400-Meter Hurdles - MWCR Men

Michael Tinsley, Nike, 48.57

Defending Drake Relays champion. Won the 2012 London Games Rematch. Captured the silver medal this past summer in Moscow at the 2013 World Championship.

On defending his Relays title ....

"It was a great honor. I ran here several times. Had USA Trials here (Drake Stadium) and I won that. This is my season opener so it was good to open on a fast track. It was good to come out early and have a good race."

On going against such a deep, talented field this early in the season ....

"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."

On the atmosphere....

"It was nice. As soon as I came out and seeing the stands full , people cheering my name, yelling the other athletes' names, it was nice."

Second Place

Javier Culson, Puerto Rico, 48.68

Third Place

Johnny Dutch, USA, 49.24

On how the race went ....

"It felt good. Nice weather. Pretty good day. I wasn't able to execute the last part of my race because of an injury I've been battling. I just wasn't able to finish the race way I wanted to."

8:10 p.m. - 4x800 - UD Women Final

Champion - Purdue

Bre'Anna Smith Sr., Megan Plenus Sr., Kiara McIntosh Fr., Kari Shoolbraid Jr., 8:34.19

New Purdue school-record

On tonight's race strategy....

Smith: "We were trying to win each leg and then when it came down to Kari (Shoolbraid) we knew she had it."

Shoolbraid: "Three of us are seniors and we wanted to go out with a bang our senior year. Then we also had a freshman (Kiara McIntosh) on the third leg who had a nice kick at the end."

On running down the homestretch in the lead....

Shoolbraid: "I kind of knew I had it, but I didn't want to get too passive and have someone come up on me. When I was going around the last curve I kept checking the scoreboard to see how far she was from me."

On the atmosphere of Drake Relays....

Plenus: "We've been here one year before, but I thought the race was really cool to be underneath the lights and hear everyone cheering it was great."

Shoolbraid: "I've never been here before so I thought it was pretty cool. The atmosphere tonight was a lot better than last night when we got to the meet."

McIntosh: "I thought the atmosphere was great, better than anything I've ever experienced. It was fun."

8:25 p.m. - 1,500 Meters - MWCR Women


Hellen Obiri, Kenya, 4:04.88

On running at the Drake Relays for the first time

Obiri "Yes, it was a fast outdoor time for me, and I think it was a good time for me."

Her thoughts on her race:

Obiri: "I was very pleased with how I ran and to win. There were some fast people and I did not expect to win so it was a hard fought win."

On being a Drake Relays Champion...

Obiri: "I'm so pleased to have won and I hope to come back again in the future."

Second Place

Brenda Martinez, New Balance, 4:06.96

On returning back to the Drake Relays

Martinez: "It was great to be back, I loved running the 4x800 relay here with UC Riverside. It brought back a lot of memories, thinking about racing Minnesota and Baylor every year so it was nice to be back."

On her race....

Martinez: "The pace was really comfortable from the start and I felt good about it, but I think we settled for a slower pace. I tried not to panic and rush to the front, I took my time working my way to the front and I think with 600m to go I told myself I had to get into a position to contend and go all out."

8:35 p.m. - 4x800 - UD Men Final

Champion - Washington

Derrick Daigre, Nick Harris, Bradley Whitley, Izaic Yorks 7:18.59


On the final lap...

Yorks: "We all came here to race, that was my intention. Going up against a guy like Patrick Rono you know you are going to be up against some tough competition. But when you have such teammates like these, you can do anything."

On his race strategy ....

Yorks: "I have been gunning, whether it's in a 800 or a relay to go under 1:50. Winning it and doing that, and having the boost of confidence, it's the best feeling."

On competing at the Drake Relays for the first time...

Yorks: "There are so many things that are overwhelming. But when you are in a relay like this, your first thought is just what you can do for your team. That was my big thought."

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