School Record Broken at Drake Relays

Nothing says spring in Des Moines like the Drake Relays. And in front of another sell-out crowd on Saturday some Iowa State Cyclones stood out in a sea of blue.

Iowa State's sprint medley relay team came into the Drake Relays with the goal of breaking the sprint medley school record of 3:16.92 set in 1993 by Frank Nwankpa, Delon Gomes, David Knight and Joseph Chepsiror.

The names James Lopes, Elijah Braimah, Jared Graham and Abraham Rotich are now at the top of that list. The quartet broke the old record with their team time of 3:16.79.

Lopes led off with a 200-leg and Braimah followed with another 200 meters. Graham clocked 46.0 in his 400-meter leg and closed strong to put the Cyclones in second. In the first lap of his 800-meters, Rotich was passed on the back stretch by Peter Etoot of Alabama. Rotich fought back on the third turn of his final lap and passed Etoot on the last curve to cross the line in second place. Rotich clocked a 1:47.9 800-meter leg.

"Getting the school record was one of our goals," men's head coach Steve Lynn said. "Us, Alabama and Illinois were all good teams and our guys ran a solid race. Anytime you break a record at Iowa State, you've run a great race."

Rotich went on to clock 1:50.92 in the 800-meters to place second. The race came down to the end where Rotich crossed the line just ahead of Marquette's John Schaffer who finished with a time of 1:51.02.

Freshman Leif Lomeland led off ISU's distance medley relay team and handed off in sixth place to Tony Stanfield. Stanfield ran 400 meters and passed the baton to Corey Ylinen. Ylinen finished his 800 meters in seventh with a personal-record time of 1:52. Craig Cartier, a Marshalltown, Iowa, native and Drake high school champion, ran the last leg for the Cyclones. Cartier brought ISU to fifth place and that's where the relay team finished with a time of 9:55.40.

Ylinen took sixth in the 1500-meter run with a season-best time of 3:50.44.

"Corey got trapped a little but he finished ahead of most of the Big 12 guys so I think he has a good shot at placing at the Big 12 meet," Lynn said.

Ryan French placed 14th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:25.04 and was the sixth person from the Big 12 to cross the finish line.

Competing unnattched in the men's special invitational mile, David Rotich placed seventh with a time of 4:06.39.

Former Cyclone, Lamont Johnson, tied for fourth in the 100-meter invitational with a time of 10.61 and also placed fourth in the invitational 200 meters with a time of 21.16. Jamie Beyer, a former ISU thrower, placed third in the special invitational shot put with a toss of 66-9 ¼.

The ISU women captured a third-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay.

Jenny Mockler started off the 4x800-meter relay by moving to the front of the pack. She handed her lead off to freshman Lauren Lewis who broke out strong but was passed on the back stretch. Lewis handed off in sixth to Sara Boisen who battled at the end of her leg to bring the Cyclones back to third. All-American Ada Anderson went toe-to-toe with Missouri's Trisa Nickoley. Anderson passed
Nickoley at the finish line to place third with a team time of 8:39.04.

"I'm very pleased with the effort," sprints and hurdles coach Scott Roberts said. "Jenny came out and put us way in front, then we had a freshman and a 400 hurdler in the middle who ran well for us. I think this was a break through race for Ada because she came back and beat someone in the last half of the race. Now she has the confidence to do that."

The winner of the 4x800-meter relay was Alabama. Their clocking of 8:29.13 is currently the fastest time in the world.

"It was a very good race and the field was the world's best," women's head coach Dick Lee said. "We thought if we could run sub 8:40, we'd be doing very well. Placing in the top three at Drake is very good.

Sophomore Leigh Wagner placed ninth in the high jump with a mark of 5-5. Junior Rebecca Williams clocked 14.15 in the 100-meter-hurdle finals to place eighth.

"Rebecca started out great and was on her way to a season-best but clipped the ninth hurdle," Lee said. "Sometimes that's just what happens in the hurdles."

The 96th running of the Drake Relays sold out Saturday marking the 40th sell-out of the final day of competition.

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