April 4, 2017
DES MOINES, Iowa – Christian Taylor, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump, headlines another outstanding field scheduled for the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Taylor is one of five Olympians in the world-class field announced by the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays, Blake Boldon, Tuesday, April 4.
Taylor returns to Drake Stadium, where he holds the facility record, as the reigning Olympic gold medalist in 2012 and 2016. The American record holder in the event, Taylor’s personal best of 59-9 (18.25m) is the second-best mark all-time in the world. Taylor was also the 2013 Drake Relays champion in the event and owns four of the 10 best jumps ever by a triple jumper.
Taylor is not the only competitor with serious Olympic credentials as four other scheduled competitors boast a combined seven Olympic appearances. Bahamian Leevan Sands is a four-time Olympian and 2008 bronze medalist that has appeared in six World Championships. He is the Bahamian record holder in the events at 57-8.5 (17.59m) and finished seventh at the Relays last season.
Nathan Douglas also owns multiple Olympic appearances in 2004 and 2008 for Great Britain and is a two-time World Championship finalist as well as a two-time European Championship silver medalist. Troy Doris also returns to Drake Stadium after an Olympic appearance and seventh-place finish in 2016 for his native Guyana. The former University of Iowa standout finished third at the Relays last year and was a Drake Relays champion and four-time All-American as a collegian.
The reigning Relays champion and 2016 Olympian, Chris Benard, is also slated to reprise his position on the Drake Stadium runway with a personal best of 56-5.75 (17.21m) as he aims to become the first back-to-back champion in the history of the event at the Relays. Donald Scott is also back in the field after finishing fifth in 2016 and eventually seventh at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials just behind Omar Craddock. Craddock comes to Drake Stadium after taking fourth at last summer’s U.S. Olympic Trials and was fourth at the 2015 World Outdoor Championship and fifth at the 2016 World Indoor Championship.
A Relays newcomer, Matthew O’Neal is also in the field after earning four All-America honors at South Florida and recently setting the Texas Relays record at 55-10.75 (17.04m). Joshua Honeycutt, who finished eighth at the 2016 Relays returns as well to cap the star-studded field.
The men’s triple jump is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Friday, April 28, inside Drake Stadium as part of Hy-Vee Night at the Relays. Tickets for all sessions of the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee are available through the Drake Athletic Ticket Office in person, by calling 515-271-3647 or visiting DrakeTix.com.