Drake Relays Brings Out Great HS Competition In Iowa

*Ashlyn Keeney (right) had a strong 1500m performance at this year's Drake Relays

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At the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, high schoolers from across the nation had a chance to compete at the historic meet. 

The high schoolers competed on Thursday and there were a handful of Iowan standout performances after a year of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ainsley Erzen of Carlisle (IA) opened up her outdoor season this weekend and ran away with the double in the 400m and 800m. In the quarter-mile, she set a personal best of 56.28. In the two-lap event, the junior finished in 2:13.73 to be ranked in the top 50 in the country. Her 2:11.16 personal best came from this meet back in 2019, but nonetheless, Erzen had a strong finish here this year.

In the girl's 1500m, this was Ashlyn Keeney's first time competing at this distance at Drake Relays. The junior from Liberty (IA) clocked a 4:39.24 to win the individual title and was just seven seconds off her personal best. 

In the hurdles, both Drew Bartels of Cedar Rapids Kennedy (IA) and Tegan Bock of Boone (IA) both raised the bar. Bartels ran an US No. 22 time in the 110mH when he clocked a 14.40. Bartels also set a new personal best in the long jump of 22-0.25 to finish third.

In the 400mH, this was Bock's first appearance at this relay meet and he cleared ten hurdles in 53.70. His execution led to be the fastest time in the country by nine-hundredths of a second. 

In the field events, Cooper Dejean and Layne Pryor had performances that were ranked US No. 7 in their respective events. OA-BCIG's (IA) senior leaped to a 22-11.25, which was a new personal best for Dejean. In the throws, Pryor who is a senior from Woodbine (IA) launched the discus to 184-11.75. 

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