April 5, 2018
DES MOINES, Iowa – The most exciting 10 seconds in track & field will live up its billing at Drake Stadium when the men’s invitational 100 meters makes its return to the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.
Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays, has announced the full field for the event that will be headlined by Canadian Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse. However, De Grasse is just one of five Olympians in the eight-competitor field that will race down the homestretch of the Blue Oval April 28 at 2:56 p.m. Six of the event’s eight lanes will feature competitors has shattered the 10-second mark in the event.
In 2016, De Grasse won three medals at the Rio Olympics, including bronze in the 100 meters behind Usain Bolt. With Bolt’s retirement, De Grasse is thought by many in the track and field community to be the heir apparent to the title ‘World’s Fastest Man.’
In addition to that bronze medal in the 100 meters, De Grasse won silver in the 200 meters behind Bolt and bronze in the 4×100-meter relay as a member of the Canadian team. He has run the 100 meters in 10 seconds or less in a legal wind nine times in his career, including a personal best of 9.91 and has run as fast as 9.69 with a tailwind. De Grasse’s Blue Oval debut marks the first time an invitational 100 meters has been staged at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee since 2005.
Joining the cadre of elite sprinters is a local favorite that had a storied career at Drake Stadium as a collegian. Brandon Carnes, a two-time Relays champion in the event as a collegian at UNI, will race as a professional for the first time at Drake Stadium. The 16-time Missouri Valley Conference champion owns a personal best of 10.06.
Another competitor who made his mark a collegian returns as an experienced professional in Isiah Young. Young was an Olympic semifinalist in the 200 meters in 2012 and has been a member of three World Championship teams for the United States. While competing for the University of Mississippi, Young was a four-time Drake Relays champion and back-to-back winner of the 100 meters in 2012 and 2013. The second of those titles earned him Drake Relays Most Outstanding Performer honors and is one of three collegiate competitors to win the honor outright in the last decade.
Mike Rodgers is one of the veterans in the field that has run a sub 10-second 100 meters a staggering 39 times in his career and owns the 14th fastest time in the history of the event at 9.85. He has been a five-time World Championship semifinalist and led off the USA’s 4×100-meter relay in the 2016 Olympics.
Jarrion Lawson, the 2017 World Championship silver medalist in the long jump, also makes his pro debut at Drake Stadium after winning four events at the 2016 NCAA Champion to become the first athlete to win a national title in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and 4×100-meter relay since Jesse Owens.
BeeJay Lee completes the corps of Americans in the event and is another runner that has bested the 10-second mark with a personal best of 9.97.
Joining De Grasse among the international talent in the event is Turkey’s national record holder, Jak Ali Harvey. Harvey was the 2016 European Championship silver medalist in the event and finished seventh in the 2017 World Championship. With a personal best of 9.92, he qualified for the 2016 Olympics in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100-meter relay.
Kemar Hyman’s 9.95 best in the event makes him the national record holder for the Cayman Islands and he has twice represented his country in the Olympics and has experience on the Blue Oval while winning an NCAA Championship for Florida at Drake Stadium.
Thursday’s announcement of the 100-meter field brings the total number of Olympians set to compete at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee to 16 to date with dozens more to be announced in the coming weeks.
All-session, multi-session and single-session tickets are currently on sale via the Drake Athletic Ticket Office and DrakeTix.com.
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