EUGENE, Ore. — If Mike Jay is calling your name, chances are good things are about to happen.
“For a track geek, it’s pretty awesome. To have the best seat in the house and to watch it makes it even more special,” said Jay, who has served as public address announcer for the Iowa High School State Track & Field Championships since 2003 and the Drake Relays since 2006. Jay is synonymous with the sport and this week he’s been announcing his second USA Track and Field Olympic trials in Oregon.
“More than just his voice, it’s about his knowledge, his passion, his enthusiasm and all that in the microphone that brings the sport of track and field to life,” said Drake Relays Director Blake Boldon.
On Monday, when Urbandale native and Dowling Catholic graduate Karissa Schweizer’s second place finish in the 5,000 meters sent her to the Olympics in Tokyo, a familiar Iowa voice was there as she crossed the finished line.
“She’s carrying a lot of our hopes and dreams with her and she’s doing a great job of it,” said Jay.
Jay’s voice has been a soundtrack to Schweizer’s major accomplishments. He was on the microphone when Schweizer was a high school runner at Dowling and again when she was a five-time NCAA champion at Missouri competing at the Drake Relays. “She is quiet, doesn’t say much but very confident in what she can do and has done,” Jay said.
You would expect most Olympians to have a high school list of eye-popping accomplishments. Schweizer won just one state title as a freshman and never won at the Drake Relays until in college at Missouri when she set the women’s 5k event record. Jay said, “It just shows the focus and dedication and the perseverance to make it through.”
Much like the track itself, Schweizer accomplishing her dreams with Jay announcing has come full circle. “Never give up, never quit chasing your goals and stay healthy. Do the right thing and good things will happen,” said Jay.
Schweizer now takes aim at the women’s 10,000 meter race on Saturday at 8:44 p.m. on NBC.