Spartans Track & Field prepare for 108th Drake Relays April 26-29.
Apr 27, 2017
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Spartans will compete in one of the most prestigious events in track and field, the 108th running of the Drake Relays. The University of Dubuque track and field teams are honored to have qualified the women's 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay, distance medley relay, and Tanasha Atwater in the shot put. The men's team qualified the 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay, sprint medley relay, Alex Link in discus and Blaze Murfin in the shot put.
The inaugural Drake Relays were held in 1910. The first meet drew just 100 spectators and 82 athletes, all from Des Moines-area colleges and high schools. The second year, however, drew 250 athletes and a crowd of some 500 spectators. In 1914, the Relays saw its first world record set. By 1922, the Relays had been expanded into a two-day event that drew 10,000 fans and became the first major track and field event broadcast on the radio. For the 1926 Relays, Drake Stadium was completed on the site of the prior host, Haskins Field.
Women's events were added beginning in 1961 with Wilma Rudolph competing in the 100 meters. The 1966 Relays began a streak of 48 consecutive Saturdays with a sellout. In 1969, a $175,000 tartan track was installed. The events at the Relays would go metric beginning in 1976; the track was rebuilt in a 400-meter oval in 1978. The track oval was resurfaced in 1983 and in 1988 was renamed the "Jim Duncan Track" to honor the long time relays public address announcer. Opened in 1925, the 14,557-seat stadium and its famous blue oval have hosted the Relays since 1926. A $15 million renovation in 2006 reduced capacity from 18,000 seats in order to expand the lanes, allow fans to watch throwing and running at the same time, and allow for more hosting of events. Another renovation following the 2016 relays saw a new track installed, constructed of the same material used for tracks in Beijing and London for the Summer Olympics
Stay current with all the latest Drake Relays news by visiting www.DrakeRelays.org and following @DrakeRelays on Twitter. DRAKE RELAYS APP: Be sure to download the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee app on your smart phone which will include the schedule, heat sheets, live results and much more! It’s free from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.