Prep Track and Field

Drake Relays will add 400-meter dash this year

Track & field: It's the first event addition for high schools since 2009

Solon’s Erin Kerkhoff competes in the 400-meter dash last season. The Drake Relays announced Monday that it will add the 400-meter dash this year. ((Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Solon’s Erin Kerkhoff competes in the 400-meter dash last season. The Drake Relays announced Monday that it will add the 400-meter dash this year. ((Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The first day of high school track and field season included a big announcement from the Drake Relays.

The boys’ and girls’ 400-meter dash will be added to this year’s schedule. It is the first addition to the high school program since 2009, when the boys’ shuttle hurdle relay was added.

It is tentatively penciled into the schedule for the evening session of Friday, April 26.

“The 400-meters is an iconic track and field event,” Drake Relays director Blake Boldon said in a statement Monday. “Now we get to see Iowa’s best high school athletes test themselves at this distance on the Blue Oval.”

Bettendorf’s Darien Porter is the top returning male from last year; he ran 47.90 seconds last season. Madison Jochum of Sioux City Heelan is tops among the girls at 57.61.

In other news, the high-school 400-meter relays will be expanded from 80 teams to 96, with the preliminaries Saturday morning and the finals in the afternoon.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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