Relays a re-run for area preps

Three area athletes will get a chance to participate in multiple events in this week’s 105th Annual Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

Two other athletes will square off in the same event for the second straight season and five others will get a chance to better their performances from the year before.

A total of nine entries in the high school boys division and eight from the high school girls division will participate in this year’s annual event on the blue oval.

The 2014 Drake Relays will be highlighted by Marshalltown’s Imad Amenzou, South Tama County’s Dylan Kalinay and BCLUW’s Mallory Vawter.

Vawter, a junior making her first appearance at the Drake Relays, will be in three events and each of them will take place Friday. She runs in the 100-meter hurdle preliminaries at 8:16 a.m., competes in the long jump at 9 a.m. and then returns to the oval Friday night when the Comets’ qualifying 4×100 relay squad runs in a preliminary heat at around 5:10 p.m.

The top eight times in the preliminaries of all track events advance to the finals.

Vawter enters the meet with the third best time in the 100 hurdles. Her qualifying time of 15.07 seconds puts her in lane four of the third heat. She will be the 10th jumper of the second flight in the long jump and enters with the 13th best qualifying mark at 17 feet, 2 3/4 inches.

The finals of the 100 hurdles will take place at 11:36 Friday morning.

The Comets 4×100 relay squad qualified with the 72nd best time of 52.91. That foursome – which also features Kendall Scurr, Jorie Oaks and Nicolette Simpson – runs in lane 2 of heat 9, which is the second to last heat in the event. The finals of the girls’ 4×100 relay will take place at 3:35 p.m. Saturday.

Amenzou will run in the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run. The Bobcat senior’s first experience at the Drake Relays will be in the 3,200 meters at 4:25 p.m. Thursday. The 1,600 meters will be Saturday at 1:02 p.m. Amenzou enters the event with the ninth best time in the two mile (9:37.76) and the 11th best time in the mile (4:23.72).

Kalinay was part of South Tama County’s 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams that failed to make the finals last year. He will fly solo this year, running in the 110-meter high hurdle preliminaries at 8 a.m. Friday and competing in the 100-meter dash preliminaries at 8:46 p.m. Friday.

Kalinay enters with the fourth-best time in the hurdles at 14.42 and will be in lane 4 of heat 2. For the 100, Kalinay has the 16th best time and will run in lane 6 of the first heat. If he advances to the finals in either event, he will run at 11:40 a.m. Friday (110 hurdles) and/or 12:28 p.m. Friday (100 meters).

The remaining area athletes in the boys’ high school division include GMG’s Bryce Newcomb (long jump) and Brock Fisher (high jump), AGWSR’s Clay Meinders (shot put) and Marshalltown’s Brady Arment (high jump). The West Marshall boys’ 4×100 team also will compete.

South Hardin’s Sarah Boomgarden and GMG’s Caitlin Appelgate will once again compete in the high jump in the girls’ high school division, while West Marshall’s Jennifer Davis returns to the shot put and Samantha Holtz of South Tama County will make her second appearance at the Drake Relays, joining Davis in the shot put. Marshalltown also will join BCLUW in the 4×100 relay.

Appelgate edged Boomgarden at last year’s Drake Relays. The GMG senior cleared 5-2 and took 12th place in 2013, while Boomgarden was 14th with a jump of 5 feet.

Boomgarden enters the 2014 Relays with the ninth best jump in the state at 5-3. Appelgate isn’t far behind with a jump of 5-2, which is good for the 19th best mark in the state. The event begins at 3 p.m. Thursday. Appelgate will be the ninth jumper, while Boomgarden will go 12th in the lineup of 24 competitors.

Davis was 20th in the shot put at last year’s Drake Relays, while Holtz finished 21st in the discus. Both will be in the shot put rink this year and Davis enters with the ninth best qualifying throw of 40-7. Holtz was one of the final qualifiers with a 38-11 1/2.

The STC senior will be the eighth thrower in the first flight, while Davis throws fifth in the second flight. Action in the high school girls’ shot put begins at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Bobcat girls’ 4×100 relay team will run in lane 8 of the eighth preliminary heat. The foursome includes Drake Relays veteran Chione Brooks as well as well as Tabby Steffensen, Karli McClure and Cassidy Blackford.

Brooks will be making her third trip to the Relays and was a part of the Bobcats’ 4×100 and sprint medley relay teams from last year. McClure ran on the sprint medley relay team last year, while Steffensen and Blackford were two other members of the 4×100 squad. It will be the second trip to the Relays for Blackford, Steffensen and McClure.

They qualified for the event with the 66th best time of 52.83. The girls 4×100 relay preliminaries start at 5:10 p.m. on Friday. The finals will take place at 3:35 p.m. Saturday.

Arment and Fisher are making their first trip to the Drake Relays and will compete together in the boys’ high jump on Friday morning. Both area athletes enter the event with the 14th best mark in the state at 6-4. Fisher will jump 16th, while Arment will be the 25th and final jumper. Action begins at 9:45 a.m.

Meinders enters his first Drake Relays with the eighth-best toss in the shot put. He was marked at 53-11 during an indoor meet earlier this season and will be the ninth thrower in the final flight. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Newcomb has the 10th best qualifying mark in the long jump at 21-9. He will try to move up a couple spots and advance to the finals when he competes as the ninth jumper in the second flight. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

West Marshall’s 4×100 relay team includes Blake Young, Elijah Streeter, Nick Juel and Duncan Ferch. The Trojans have the 77th best qualifying time of 45.48 and will run in the 10th and final heat Friday night when the event kicks off at 6:10 p.m. Streeter and Ferch were both part of West Marshall’s third-place 4×100 team at the state track meet last year. The finals for the boys’ 4×100 relay is 3:40 p.m. Saturday.

The shot put, long jump and discus will all have two flights and the eight best throws or jumps from those two flights will advance to the finals.

The Drake Relays will kick off at 6 p.m. Monday with the high jump at the new Waukee Hy-Vee on Hickman Road.

The Grand Blue Mile will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. in downtown Des Moines and the annual pole vault competition at Jordan Creek Town Center is slated for 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The men’s decathlon kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, while the women’s heptathlon begins one hour later at 12:30 p.m. Both events continue Thursday morning.