Drake Relays Schedule
With just over a month of college track left to his name, Dakota State's Tyler Van Peursem would love to run in the DSU Invitational on Friday at Trojan Field. But this weekend, he will take his services to Des Moines, Iowa, in order to take part in the historic Drake Relays, which will take part on Friday and Saturday.
"It's awesome that we are having a home meet, I really wish I could run at the home meet. It kinda stinks that we have Drake overlapping the home meet, but the Drake Relays is awesome, so I can't complain too much about that," said Van Peursem.
DSU will send their men's 4 x 800-meter relay team, men's distance medley relay teams along with the women's distance medley relay team to the Drake Relays. Madison's Devon Berkness will also be able to compete against the nation's best in the 10,000-meter run.
Athletes must register a qualifying time in order to take part the Drake Relays.
DSU coach Trent Mack is excited for his runners to compete in the large meet at Drake Stadium.
"The Drake Relays is one of the largest meets in the nation and they have to be selected to compete at the Drake Relays," he said. "It's a great opportunity for the athletes to prepare them for the national meet and a great experience to compete against teams from the around the country."
There will be some great men's and women's team coming to Madison as part of the second home track meet, which will start at noon.
The Trojans will welcome South Dakota State, Augustana, Dordt, Mount Marty, Dakota Wesleyan, Northern State and the University of Sioux Falls.
Mack is looking forward to see how all of the athletes do this weekend.
"Track is unique, or special, because there are so many ways to measure an individuals success, whether that be how they finish in an event or post a new personal best mark," said Mack. A weekend like this where you have athletes competing different places also gives more athletes a chance to represent the program. A lot of times it forces athletes to step up and fill some spots where other teammates may have usually been."
For Fulda, Minn., native Anthony Drealan, its an opportunity to fulfill a dream.
"It's one of the best track meets in the nation, so we are really excited to run there. I went there last year to watch the guys, and I was just hoping to run this year, so I'm really excited to run this year, " said Drealan. "Running at Drake means everything to me. As a freshman, if someone told me I was going to run in the Drake Relays, (I would have said). no way. So it's special."
Mack says a key to being successful in big meets is to be in the moment.
"As far as coaching, it's difficult. You are up in the stands basically as a spectator for a meet like this. For the athletes, you just have to go out and race. There can be a lot of distractions so you have to stay focused on the task at hand."
This weekend will be the last time the Madison faithful can see their own college team in Madison.
The Trojans will have two meets in Sioux Falls in Howard Wood (Apr. 30, May 1) and the USF Last Chance Meet on May 15.
"This will just be another weekend for the entire team to try and improve their performances and get a little more prepared for the final stretch of the season," said Mack.
Ariy-El Boynton, Madison Daily Leader Sports Editor