Bittney Reese, photo by PhotoRun.net
Drake Relay fans will have many treats, but the Road to Rio Preview with the women’s Long Jump is one of them!
First of all, RunBlogRun loves Hy-Vee, a fine company that supports both sports and academic programs in the eight states where they locate their business. $500k a year support of Drake is a big thing. These are good people who are one of the top five event sponsors in US. Support their stores!
The Road To Rio Preview, the LJ field is fantastic. Having just watched Brittney Reese jump 7.22m and Tianna Bartoletta win the World Champs in 2015, I am quite excited about this field.
If we want to bring our sport to the forefront, we put together fields with fine rivalries. This is a fine example of how to put a field together.
Nice job by Brian Brown. My late mentor and editor, James Dunaway, loved the Drake Relays and would drive up to Des Moines from Texas to see the fine event!
DES MOINES, Iowa – Six Olympians will take to the long jump runway at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee as part of the Rio Games Olympic Preview, Relays director Brian Brown announced March 15.
VIDEO: Brian Brown discusses the Rio Olympic Games Preview field for the women’s long jump
Of those six Olympians, four have Olympic medals to their credit and the entire nine-jumper field will be using the Rio Olympic Games Preview as the springboard to add to that tally. Last season, four of the nine in the field finished the season ranked in the top 11 in the world. Four of those scheduled to compete at Drake Stadium were in the final of last summer’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.
Headlining the field is American Brittney Reese. With a total of five World Championships, Reese is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the long jump and owns a personal best of 23-9.5 (7.25m). Last weekend she claimed the U.S. Indoor national title with a jump of 22-7.25. In 2013, Reese competed at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee and won the long jump with a mark of 22-9.5.
Janay DeLoach is another American Olympic medalist, having claimed bronze at the 2012 London Games. She owns a personal best of 23-0.75 (7.03m) in the event and finished the 2015 season ranked No. 6 in the world. She also jumped at the 2013 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee and finished second in 22-8.5.
Tianna Bartoletta comes to Drake Stadium after finishing 2015 with the top jump in the world at 23-5.25 (7.14m) to win a World Championship last summer in Beijing. As a member of the United States’ 4×100-meter relay team, she earned a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Finishing just a few spots behind Bartoletta in the world standings last year was Christabel Nettey with the fourth-longest jump in the world of 22-11.25 (6.99m). The Canadian is the reigning Pan-American Games champion in the event and finished fourth at last summer’s IAAF World Championships.
Lorraine Ugen will travel to Des Moines after finishing her 2015 season ranked 11th in the world with a personal-best mark of 22-8.5 (6.92m) and finishing fifth at the IAAF World Championships.
Chelsea Hayes is another Olympian set to compete for the prize purse at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Hayes unleashed a huge personal best of 23-3.5 (7.10m) at the last Olympic Trials to stun the field and earn a spot on Team USA.
Another Olympic medalist in the field is Nigerian Blessing Okagbare. Okagbare claimed a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and have five African Championships on her resume. She owns a personal best of 22-11.75 (7.0m) in the event.
Funmi Jimoh competed alongside Okagbare in the 2008 Olympics and finished 12th in the event. She has a personal best of 22-10 (6.96m) in the event.
Rounding out the field in the women’s long jump is another past Relays performer in Sharon Day-Monroe. A multi-event athlete, Day-Monroe has represented the United States in the heptathlon in each of the last two Olympics. Two years, she competed at Drake Stadium in the high jump.
The Rio Olympic Games Preview women’s long jump is scheduled to be contested during Hy-Vee Night at the Relays on Friday, April 29, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Single-session tickets for the 2016 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee go on sale to the general public on March 24 at 9 a.m. All-session and multi-session tickets for the 2016 DrakeRelays presented by Hy-Vee are currently available at www.DrakeRelays.org, www.DrakeTix.com or by calling the Drake Athletic Ticket Office at 515-271-3647.
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