Runners run at Drake Relays

The Drake Relays, held April 25 through April 28, was a day for both Ames rookie and veteran runners to strut their stuff on the blue track down at the Drake Stadium. Combined, the Ames High Girls’ and Boys’ Track and Field team took down seven relay teams, and four individual events. The Ames Girls’ Track and Field team took down five relay teams including the Sprint Medley Relay, Shuttle Hurdle Relay, 4×100 meters, 4×400 meters, and the 4×800 meters. The relays took fifth, nineteenth, eleventh, seventh, and thirteenth respectively. Junior Laura Gehring also ran the 1500 and came in at sixteenth place. This year was the first time the Drake Relays have included a 1500. “Although I didn’t run my best, I still feel it was an honor to run the first 1500 ever at the Drake Relays,” Gehring said. The Sprint Medley relay competed well for Ames. Their fifth place finish took a time of 1:49.79. Starting off in the first leg was senior Kyra Knuth, followed by junior Stephanie Soh, freshman Emily Wandling, and senior Kersten Thorgaard. “Any time you medal at Drake, it’s a real highlight,” Sprint Coach Tim Mooney said. The Shuttle Hurdle Relay run by junior Autumn Thompson, senior Mashette Syrkin-Nikolau, senior Allison Dye, and junior Lauren Naeve wasn’t one of the team’s best times. “Our time at Drake definitely wasn’t one of our best performances, but we still have time to improve for state,” Thompson said. The 4×100 also run by Knuth, Soh, Wandling, and Thorgaard didn’t make the finals, and placed twenty-seventh out of 79 teams with a time of 51.1 seconds. The 4×400 finished in seventh place with a time of 4:04.86. Running the 4×400 was Soh, senior Lauren Brown, Wandling, and Thorgaard. The Drake Relays was a personal best for the season in the 4×400 relay team. “It was really exciting getting to run at Drake my freshmen year, but I was really nervous. I’m glad I still have three years to improve,” Wandling said. Running the 4×800 was junior Laura Gehring, freshman Bryanna Behning, sophomore Rebecca Miller, and freshman Ellen Hansen. With the two freshmen and sophomore, the 4×800 team had all but one rookie varsity runner. “I’ve never had so much adrenaline in a race before,” Behning said, “It was intimidating with so many other people, but I got my best time.” The Ames High Boys’ Track and Field team qualified in the 4×100, 4×200, High Jump, 110 meter High Hurdles, and the 400 meter hurdles. Junior Marty Pick jumped six feet and one inch on the High Jump. This was not only Pick’s first time at the Drake Relay, but it was also his first year in track. “I didn’t expect to make the Drake Relays with it being my first time in high school track, but it was a great experience, and I hope to do even better at State.” Running both the 110 meter High Hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles was junior Jason Kemis. As a first time Drake participant, Kemis didn’t feel he ran to his full potential, but he feels this will change at state. “I was not even close to performing my best. I know I can do my best,” Kemis said. The 4×100, ran by junior David Tim, senior Bret Ballantine, Pick, and sophomore Sam Tim placed 22nd with a time of 44.28 seconds. The 4×200 placed 11th with a time of 1:31.53 and was run by senior Nick Romsey, senior Gasim Haron, and Pick. There were some wins and losses for the Ames High Track and Field team at the Drake Relays this year. However, the team is only optimistic for the state competition, which will take place Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19. “I’m not seeded very well for the 110 high hurdles right now, but I still think I can at least place top three,” Kemis said.