The Drake Relays, which are held in Des Moines, Iowa, are a rite of passage for midwestern track and field athletes every year.
From the professional and college ranks all the way down to the high school level, it's the type of annual event that stokes fire in those competing. And it often brings in some of the best athletes from the nation and incubates some of the best performances across the country every year.
But the opportunity to perform on that fast Drake University mondo track, which was updated in 2005, may hold even more significance for high schoolers who've never experienced it.
The Drake Stadium holds nearly 15,000 fans -- of which are often filled -- and the atmosphere often parallels no other inside the state outside maybe the Iowa track and field championships.
Thursday's high school action held six events, including two distance and four field events. Friday will balloon up to 16 events and Saturday will finish off with 14 more. We'll keep you updated on all the big performances from the action.
Click on the slideshow to see the top four performances from Thursday's action during the Distance Carnival portion of the relays.
FloTrack has the Drake Relays live to specific audiences outside the United States. Find out more here.