April 11, 2019
The men’s mile and women’s 1,500 meters are set to feature some of the top runners in the world as part of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays announced Wednesday, April 10.
The men’s mile, which has seen 34 competitors shatter the 4-minute mark in Drake Stadium history, has six competitors who have previously run faster than a 4-minute mile slated to compete this year.
Fans will have the opportunity to cheer on many Relays regulars during their four laps around the Blue Oval including local talent Erik Sowinski. The University of Iowa standout made his mile debut at the Drake Relays last year and finished fifth in 4:01.44. The three-time USA Champion was the bronze medalist at the 2016 World Indoor Championships in the 800 meters and has been in the finals in each of the last 13 USA Championships with seven indoor finals appearances and six outdoors.
Daniel Herrera, who finished seventh in last year’s Drake Relays mile, also returns to the Blue Oval, as does Harun Abda. Abda was the 2018 USA Indoor Champion in the 800 meters who was a four-time Drake Relays champion while competing for Minnesota. Another collegiate standout, Chad Noelle, also returns to the Blue Oval to join the mile field.
Jack Edwards, Brandon Lasater, Joe Coffey, Mike Marsell, David Elliot, Jay Welp and Julius Bor are also set to challenge the field.
The women’s 1,500 meters features an equally impressive contingent headlined by Heather Kampf, a three-time Grand Blue Mile champion who was a member of previous USA Pan-American Games teams.
Shannon Osika, who was fourth at the 2019 USA Championship in the indoor mile is also in the field as is Hannah Fields, who is coming off a fifth-place showing in the 1,000 meters at the USA Indoor Championship.
Alexa Efraimson, one of the sport’s top young talents and the American junior record holder in the event, returns to the Blue Oval after finishing fifth in last year’s two-mile event and sixth in the 1,500 meters in 2017.
Completing the field is Alexina Wilson, who was an Iowa state champion, Grace Barnett, Heather MacLean, Dana Mecke, Ashley Stinson and Savannah Camacho-Colon. The group has a total of seven NCAA All-America honors to their credit.
Many of the competitors in the mile and 1,500 meters will also compete in the Grand Blue Mile as well. This year, the Grand Blue Mile is also serving as the USA Road Mile Championship.
Relays Week competitions begin Tuesday, April 23, with the Grand Blue Mile on the streets of downtown Des Moines. The heptathlon and decathlon get underway in Drake Stadium Wednesday, April 24, followed by the annual Capital Square Vault. Combined events conclude Thursday, April 25, at Drake Stadium followed by the annual Distance Carnival. Action continues all day Friday and Saturday at Drake Stadium.
All-session, multi-session and single-session tickets for all of the action are available via DrakeTix.com, 515-271-3647 or visiting the Drake Athletic Ticket Office.