The clock is ticking.
For some area track and field teams, time for Drake Relays qualification has already run out.
But not for all.
Thursday’s meets at Iowa City High and Monticello, among other venues around the state, have the same theme:
Just call them the Urgency Invitationals. The Last Chance Relays.
The deadline for submitting season bests for Drake consideration is 11:59 Thursday night.
Thursday’s forecast is for highs around 60 degrees. So the conditions are favorable for excellent times and distances.
And at City High’s Forwald-Coleman Relays, so is the competition.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Joe Graf, girls’ coach at City High. “Our team isn’t the shiniest, flashiest team, but good competition will make us faster.”
The Forwald-Coleman field consists of eight boys’ teams and eight girls' teams.
The girls’ competition appears particularly stacked, with defending Class 4A state champion Waukee present, along with top challengers Iowa City West and Pleasant Valley.
“I’m looking forward to watching Waukee and West battle it out,” Graf said.
“It’s traditionally a great meet. “We’ll compete the best we can.”
Pleasant Valley, West, Southeast Polk and West Des Moines Valley highlight the boys’ field.
The meet begins at 4:30 for field events, with the track program beginning at 5. The final event is scheduled for 9:05, leaving coaches a couple hours to input results on Quik Stats and watch the other results from around the state come in.
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The Drake Relays are April 27-29. The number of qualifiers for each event varies from 16 to 80 for the running events, and 24 for all field events.
Drake Relays: Current cutoffs and state, area leaders
Mount Vernon’s Tristan Wirfs shares the state lead in the shot put (65 feet, 10 1/2 inches) and took over the No. 1 spot in the discus with a fling of 195-2 Tuesday at Solon’s Denny Gruber Relays.
Joah Banks of Cedar Rapids Prairie has the top effort in the 110-meter hurdles at 13.96 seconds.
Among the girls, Valerie Welch of Iowa City West is No. 1 in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.34 seconds, and Linn-Mar’s Payton Wensel lowered her state-best time in the 400 hurdles to 1:01.52 at Dubuque on Tuesday.
Maria and Anna Hostetler of Mid-Prairie are ranked 1-2 in the girls’ 3,000, with Maria owning a time of 10:03.20.
Three area girls’ high jumpers — Skyler Presler of Linn-Mar, Josie Durr of Solon and Stacey Slaven of South Tama — are among seven that have cleared 5-6 this season.
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