Drake Relays underway in Des Moines

Minnesota’s women’s track and field team began competition at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, and several of the team’s distance runners scored personal bests.

Senior Jill Field and freshman Jen Hess both clocked their best times in their respective events, as Field took 13th place in the invitational 10,000-meter run in 37:09.49 and Hess claimed 14th in the invitational 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:27.80.

Additionally, the Gophers 4×1600-meter relay team of Darja Vasiljeva, Carly Emil, Zoe Nagell and Laura Bjork finished seventh in 20:32.59.

The first full slate of competition at the 94th annual Drake Relays takes place today, with both Minnesota’s men’ and women’s track and field teams competing. Both teams took one title last year, as Andrew McKessock won the 1,500-meter run for the men and Tahesia Harrigan took the 100-meter dash title for the women.

The meet is looking to sell out its Saturday session for the 38th consecutive year, which would extend an American record for sellouts in a track meet.

Helping the draw, Stacey Dragila, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, is scheduled to compete in the invitational pole vault.

In total, the meet will feature 9,359 athletes, including 462 foreign competitors from 65 countries.

Ben Goessling covers track and field and welcomes comments at [email protected]