Behind the lens at the Drake Relays

The Drake Relays is one of my favorite Iowa sports tournaments to shoot. It has everything from high school athletics to elite athletes tuning up for the olympic trials ahead of this summer’s games in Rio. Emotions run high, and with multiple events ongoing at all times there’s no shortage of action.

And, inevitably, rain.

Though the rain mostly stayed away until Saturday, cloud cover was a constant presence during my time at the relays. Because of the dull light, for some events I decided to use a flash to create some more interesting light.


In the girls’ high school long jump competition, Briyana Carter’s socks added a splash of color on a grey Friday morning. 

One of the most dramatic moments of the weekend was the women’s college 1500m race on Saturday, won by Wichita State’s Rebekah Topham who beat Drake’s Emma Huston by .04 seconds.

Both runners collapsed across the finish line. The race was not on my list of heats to shoot, and I was photographing the Rio Olympic Games preview of men’s triple jump as the 1500m came to its conclusion.


Fortuitously, the triple jump sand pit was adjacent to the finish line so I turned to my left and made this photo as the volume rose in Drake stadium with the two side-by-side runners bearing down on the finish.


On Friday evening I decided to use some longer shutter speeds with my flash on the men’s university 4x800m relay and I made this photo as Minnesota’s Derek Wiebke moved into the lead ahead of Iowa’s Carter Lilly on leg 3 of the relay.

To see more of my outtakes from the 2016 Drake Relays click the slideshow at the top of this page.

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