RECAP: The 108th Drake Relays

                The 108th Drake Relays hosted a great deal of excellent performances, despite less-than-ideal conditions. Records were broken, races came down to the final step, and fans were always kept on the edge of their seats. Continue below to read about some of the top performances from the weekend.

                During Thursday's Distance Carnival, Anna and Marie Hostetler of Mid-Prairie did what they do best- finish 1st and 2nd in the Girls 3000M. Anna led from the get-go with Marie following close behind. A chase pack made up of Iowa City's Bailey Nock and Crestwood's Ellie Freisen kept their eyes on the Hostetler sisters, but in the end, Anna and Marie held them off. The Boys 3200M left jaws dropped when Central Lyon's Gable Sieperda went out with a 15-meter lead over the chase pack made up of Linn-Mar's Ryan Murphy, Sam Schillinger from Cedar Falls, (both of whom have committed to the University of Arkansas next year) as well as Iowa State signee Patrick Bose of Johnston.  Eventually the chase pack did run down Sieperda with Ryan Murphy taking the lead. With one lap to go, Sam Schillinger fought hard to move to the front and finished with a blazing 63-second final 400. Schillinger finished in 9:06, followed by Murphy in 9:11, Bose in 9:16, while Sieperda held on to 4th finishing in 9:17.

                In Thursday's field events, Leah Dusterhoft from Iowa City claimed the title in the Girls Discus Throw. You can check out a video interview with Leah after her win here! Tristan Wirfs took the win in the Boys' Shot Put with intentions of competing for the win in the Discus Throw the following day. Wirfs won with an exceptional throw of 66-3.5

                After his win in the Boys' Shot Put, Tristan Wirfs came back to win the Boys' Discus Throw on Friday becoming the first high school athlete to be the Drake Relays Champion in both events in 25 years. The Mt. Vernon senior has signed to play football at the University of Iowa next year and is also a state-class wrestler. He won the event with a throw of 190-1 to lead Class 2A standout Nick Phelps of KP-WC by 13-4. In the preliminaries of the Girls 100M Dash, Kerris Roberts set a new Drake Relays record in 11.82. She came back later in the afternoon to win the finals in a time just hundredths of a second behind her own record.
                One of the big surprises of the day came when the Linn-Mar Girls Sprint Medley Relay beat the Assumption Girls team, who made headlines for their performance at New Balance Nationals Indoor this past winter. Linn-Mar won by less than 0.5 second ahead of Assumption, with the Girls team from Waukee in third. In the Girls 100M Hurdles, Iowa City West's Valerie Welch continued her streak of wins after running 14.43, nearly half a second ahead of second place MiAsia Bergmann from Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Joah Banks was the Boys 110m Hurdles champion in an exciting Drake Relays record time of 14.01! The Cedar Rapids Prairie senior won ahead of Lantz Reed, a sophomore from Boone. In another exciting race, Assumption's Joy Ripslinger unsurprisingly won the Girls 800m in 2:10 to defend her own Drake Relays title. The senior was named an All-American after her exceptional performances both in relays and individually at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet earlier this year, and will become an Arkansas Razorback this upcoming fall. Anna Hostetler also competed in the event less than 24 hours after her dominant 3000m performance and finished 5th with a time of 2:16.35.


                To start off the Saturday session, the Waukee Girls Shuttle Hurdle team broke the Drake Relays record in the preliminary round of the event after clocking a 1:02.18, ahead of Iowa City West (103.94). The team came back later in the day to break their own Drake Relays record by a large margin, finishing in 1:00.95, a record that could surely withstand years of competition. The Girls 1500 was stacked with a loaded field of young ladies, many of whom competed in the 3000m and 800m races as well. As predicted, Joy Ripslinger once again took the win in the 1500m, adding to her large repertoire of Drake Relays titles. Close behind her was Anna Hostetler once again, finishing in 4:34, just a few seconds behind Joy's 4:31. Ellie Freisen of Crestwood placed third, followed by Marie Hostetler for fourth. The Boys 1600m left spectators on the edge of their seats when Ryan Murphy and Sam Schillinger once again battled it out in similar fashion to the 3000m just two days before. Murphy took the win by just barely out-edging Schillinger at the line. Both athletes had finish times of 4:20.23. In another exciting race, the Assumption Girls 4x100 team took the win by just 1/100th of a second ahead of Waukee. The Waterloo East team was also in the mix, finishing just 4/100ths of a second behind Waukee.

                To round out the final day of racing was what many consider to be the most exciting event, the Girls and Boys 4x400 relays. In the Girls race, Southeast Polk surprised many fans when they took the win over the Assumption girls team in 3:51.24, nearly 2-seconds ahead of second. The Boys' race was much tighter at the end with Bettendorf out-kicking Waukee by 0.09, finishing in 3:20.61 versus Waukee's 3:20.70. The top-4 teams were all under the 3:22 mark, leaving fans on the edge of their seats to finish out another exciting, historical weekend of Drake Relays racing.


Want to see more content from the Drake Relays? Check out our results hub here and be sure to follow us on Twitter - @MileSplitIA!