Illini Ready for Prestigious Drake Relays
April 24, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois women's track and field team will compete at the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, from April 25-27. The Illini, who are in action for the final time before the Big Ten Championships, are entered in 17 events, including six relays, at Drake Stadium.
"This is an exciting year for the Drake Relays," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "The meet director has a new sponsor which has added a bit of flair to the event, so as a program we are really glad to be a part of it. There will be lots of Olympians and world class athletes competing there which will give our athletes a chance to see them live in action. It's always great for our student-athletes to be able to see the best in their sport go head to head. What we are especially looking forward to this year is the battle for the Hy-Vee Cup. The Hy-Vee cup trophy is awarded to the University division team that accumulates the most points in five chosen relays (4x1, 4x4, 4x8, Sprint Medley and Distance Medley). I feel like we can do very well in all five of those relays. This is also a good chance to go into a non-conference meet with the goal of scoring points collectively as a team. This is a very good practice for us going into the Big Ten Championships in a few weeks."
This year marks the 104th running of the Drake Relays. Colleges and universities from all over the United States will take part in the meet, including 966 women's university-college athletes with nearly 8,000 total athletes competing.
Three Illini will kick off competition on Thursday night under the lights in a pair of distance events. Junior Megahn Frigo will run the 10,000m while senior Courtney Yaeger and sophomore Alyssa Schneider will race in the 5,000m.
Junior Breeana Coleman is one of three Illini to run the 100m hurdles and will also run the lead leg in the 4x100m relay on Friday morning. Also highlighting the 4x100 squad is sophomore Asia Thomas, freshman Morolake Akinosun and senior Lauren Hollingsworth. Three other relays will compete on Friday afternoon including the prelims of the 4x400m and the finals of the 4x200m and 4x800m. Selected Illini athletes will also compete in four field events during the day with pole vault, high jump, javelin, discus and long jump.
The Illini sprint crew of Akinosun, both Spencer sisters and junior Samantha Murphy will run in the sprint medley relay final on Saturday morning while senior Madeline Aufmann will run the 3,000m steeplechase for the second time this season. Junior Jesica Ejesieme will run the 400m hurdles while the duo of junior Stephanie Morgan and junior Katie Porada are slated in the 1,500m. The finals of four other events will also be on Saturday, including the 100m hurdles, distance medley relay, and both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
A complete list of Illini entrants at the Drake Relays can be found below. Live results will be linked on fightingillini.com. Friday's events will be shown live on ESPN3 starting at 6:30 p.m. CT. and a tape-delayed broadcast on Saturday evening from 7-9:30 p.m. CT. Full results and a recap following the completion of the meet can be found on fightingillini.com
Illinois Schedule at the Drake Relays
Friday, April 26
Saturday, April 27