Lone Tree and Mid-Prairie showcase talents at the Drake Relays

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 5/3/23

This past week the 113th Drake Relays in Des Moines took place and this multi-day event at the state capital featured hundreds of athletes who earned the right to compete at this prestigious event. …

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Lone Tree and Mid-Prairie showcase talents at the Drake Relays


This past week the 113th Drake Relays in Des Moines took place and this multi-day event at the state capital featured hundreds of athletes who earned the right to compete at this prestigious event. 

Drake Stadium’s well known blue colored track, often referred to as the Blue Oval, was the host of some of the best high school track and field competition this state has to offer and not wanting to be left out of all the fun Mid-Prairie and Lone Tree both had athletes qualify to participate in the Drake Relays. 


Lone Tree Results 

With Lone Tree’s last appearance at the Drake Relays being 10 years ago, the Lady Lions squad of sophomore Vivian Zaruba, senior Riley Krueger, freshman Ava Christofferson, and sophomore Rylee Shield arriving at the Blue Oval to compete in the 4x100 relay was already an accomplishment worthy of praise. 

On April 29 the Lady Lions competed in the preliminary round of the 4x100 relay. A whopping 96 teams would be racing in this prelim round, with the races being split up into 12 heats, eight schools in each heat. 

Competing in the second heat, with Zaruba starting and Shield closing, Lone Tree would finish in third out of eight schools with a final time of 53.32.

 With the margin of separation in this event being less than a second the Lady Lions, after all 12 heats were completed, earned 74th place. Only the top eight out of this field of 96 would qualify to race in the 4x100 relay finals. 

Finishing 10 spots higher overall than where they were initially seeded going into the event, the Lady Lions’ time of 53.32 was its third fastest time of the season. When comparing their time against other 1A 4x100 schools who competed at the Drake Relays, Lone Tree ran better times than the number 9, 2, and 1 ranked schools.


Mid-Prairie Results 

The first day of high school competition at Drake Stadium was on April 27 and it was on this day Mid-Prairie senior Cain Brown competed in the high jump. Brown was one of 28 athletes competing in the high jump and he put on an impressive showing, finishing third place overall, clearing six foot nine inches. Brown’s clearing of the 6’9” bar gave him a new personal best and it set a new school record. 

With the bar beginning at 6’1” Brown would only need his first attempt to clear it. This would set a pattern for Brown, as he would clear the next three bar heights (6’3”, 6’5”, 6’7”) also on his first try. He was the only competitor to do so. 

As the bar would be set to 6’9” the competition dwindled to just eight. This would be the first time Brown would need more than one jump to clear a bar, but he was eventually able to overcome it on his third attempt. 

The 6’9” bar knocked out five competitors, leaving only three. Now with the bar adjusted to reach 6’10” Brown would be unable to clear it after three attempts. Cedar Falls senior Jacob Kieler was the only one to clear the 6’10” bar and this gave him first place in the high jump. 

Competing in his second event of the Drake Relays on April 28 Brown took part in the long jump event. Entering the competition as the 15 seed Brown battled against 24 other athletes. 

Brown’s best jump would be his first. His leap of 20-2.75 earned him 16th place. The winner of the long jump, Southeast Polk senior Abu Sama, had his best jump recorded at 23-6.25. 

Also getting to compete in two events for the Golden Hawks at the Drake Relays was junior Danielle Hostetler.

She tackled her first event, the 3000m, on April 27. Hostetler’s time of 10:18.66 earned her tenth place out of a field of 21 competitors. Only three athletes finished the 3000m in under 10 minutes, with the first place time of 9:28.89 belonging to Ballard senior Paityn Noe. 

Her second event, the 1500m, on April 28 was a familiar one for Hostetler, having competed in the same event in last year’s Drake Relays, finishing in fourth place. 

Entering this year’s 1500m as the 8th seed Hostetler was able to improve her placement from the previous year and secure a top three finish. In a field of 21 competitors Hostetler’s time of 4:37.03 earned her third place. Coming in first was Calamus-Wheatland sophomore Noelle Steines with a time of 4:35.22. 

The Golden Hawk team of Amara Jones, Tabitha Evans, Madeline Schrader, and Jovi Evans competed in the 4x200 and the 4x100 events. 

They entered the 4x200 event on April 28 as the 21st seed. This Golden Hawk team finished ninth overall out of 24 teams with a time of 1:44.49. This top ten finish was secured after they took the top spot in the first heat. 

The 4x100 on April 29 had a gigantic pool of competitors and in the preliminary round the Golden Hawk team of Tabitha, Jovi, Jones, and Schrader finished the race with a time of 50.62 to take 21st place. Mid-Prairie’s time came from finishing in third in the ninth heat of 12. 

A big winner for the Golden Hawks at the Drake Relays was sophomore Jayden Stafford.

Setting a new personal record, Stafford’s time of 1:04.06 in the 400m wheelchair put him above all the competition. Stafford’s first place finish in this event makes him the second Mid-Prairie Drake Relay champion in its school history.