Drake Relays Results
DES MOINES, Iowa – Returning to the Drake Relays for the first time in ten years, the Husky track team made quite an entrance, sweeping the men’s and women’s 4x1600-meter races this afternoon at Drake Stadium. Washington is just the third team ever to win the two four-mile relays, as UW got its three-day stay at Drake off to a blazing start.
Hometown standout Katie Flood returned to the Drake Relays for the first time since her senior year of high school in 2010, and the junior anchored the win for the Husky women, as they finished in 19-minutes, 9.31-seconds, four seconds ahead of Iowa State, with Arkansas in third and Minnesota in fourth.
The Huskies had the lead at every hand-off, with Eleanor Fulton opening up with a 4:44 mile to gain the lead, then passing to freshman Katie Knight, and then to junior Liberty Miller. Flood, who won six high school Drake Relays titles as a prep, as well as the 2012 NCAA 1,500m title on the blue oval, closed with a final mile split of approximately 4:41.
Asked about her favorite moment on the track, Flood couldn’t pick just one. “Someone asked me that earlier this week and I said that I couldn’t really pinpoint it,” she said. “All were very special in different ways. Coming and winning a national title was phenomenal but I think in high school there was so much that happened here with my teammates just the grit and little toughness and seeing the best in everyone.”
Next up were the men, led off by sophomore Meron Simon. He put the Huskies in the lead once again, passing to redshirt freshman Nick Harris for the second leg, then fellow redshirt freshman Blake Nelson for the third leg. All-American miler Izaic Yorks had several teams on his tail over the final 1,600-meters, but he held them off with a close of approximately 3:58 to finish the win in 16:21.46. Illinois was three seconds back, followed by Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
“It’s pretty unreal to do it with your best friends,” said Simon. “It’s good to put in the work and have this benchmark. It shows everyone here who’s going to be able to roll when it comes to that first round of the NCAAs.”
Nelson, in his first trip to Drake, added, “It feels good. I knew we could do it just putting everything together, each person running his own leg.”
The only other teams to sweep the 4x1600m relays were Stanford in 2003 and Minnesota in 2009. It’s the first win for UW at the Drake Relays since 2002, when the Husky women won the sprint medley relay.
Capping off the night was sixth-year senior Rob Webster Jr., who ran a 10k for the second time this season. Webster finished 13th in a field of 33 competitors, crossing the line in a time of 30:18.58.
Washington has seven more relays to run over the next two days at Drake.