Drake Relays to return to traditional format in 2022


Smoke from fireworks lingers over the newly renovated stadium during the opening ceremonies at the Drake Relays track and field meet Friday, April 28, 2006, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The 2022 Drake Relays will return to its traditional format with high school, collegiate and professional athletes participating alongside each other in an integrated four-day schedule.

The events at Drake Stadium will begin on Wednesday, April 27 with the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. The decathlon and heptathlon will finish on Thursday, followed by the Distance Carnival. Friday will once again be divided into day and evening sessions, both featuring collegiate athletes and Iowa’s top high school athletes. The Drake Relays will conclude on Saturday, April 30.

After the Drake Relays were canceled in 2020 and had a significantly altered schedule in 2021, this will be a return to the regular integrated format between the different levels.

“The century-old tradition of high school and university athletes participating in the Drake Relays alongside the world’s greatest athletes has become an institution in our sport,” said Drake Relays Director Blake Boldon. “While we are months away from finalizing our schedule, we are thrilled to get back on track with this important tradition in 2022.”

The Drake Relays also unveiled the first group of university teams that will compete in 2022. The confirmed teams include Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, North Carolina A&T, Air Force, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Purdue and Utah.

“This is already the strongest university field at the Drake Relays in at least five years,” Boldon said. “For more than 11 decades, our fans have cheered collegiate champions that have gone on to realize their Olympic dreams. This tradition will be renewed in full force on the Blue Oval in 2022. We are all anxious for a sold-out crowd of more than 14,000 on Saturday, April 30.”

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