Drake Relays kick off Thursday

DES MOINES — It’s almos that time of the year again. The blue oval in Des Moines is getting ready to host some of the best high school, college and professional track and field athletes in the state, and Mt. Pleasant will be bringing plenty of firepower to the packed weekend.

The Panthers lead the area with an astounding 12 Drake qualifiers. Winfield-Mt. Union adds a relay team to the mix.

Two of Mt. Pleasant’s standouts will get things started on Thursday, April 25. Sam Beatty will be competing in the high jump at 4:30 p.m., and Abby Ryon will compete in the 3000-meter run at 5:40 p.m.

Chase Lamm will take his turn on the track at 8:15 a.m., when he takes part in the 110-meter high hurdles. Lexie Magnani will kick off a busy day in the field at 8:30 a.m., when she throws shot put. Magnani comes into that competition with the fourth-best mark in the state.

Much like Magnani in the shot put, Zach Beason is in the top four in the boys’ discus throw, coming in as the fourth-best distance. He will throw around 9 a.m.

Khang Truong and Rylan Seberg will be jumping in the boys’ long jump around 9:30, with Truong going first. Seberg has the sixth-best mark in the state. The Panther boys’ distance medley will be soon after that, starting at 10:02 a.m.

There is another early start on Saturday as the Mt. Pleasant boys’ shuttle hurdle team runs at 8:15 a.m. The girls’ 4X100 team will go just before 9:30 a.m., and both the Mt. Pleasant and W-MU boys’ 4X100 teams will take to the track around 10 a.m.

The final area runner of the weekend is Maggie Cristoforo. She is slated to run at about 1:10 p.m. in the 400-meter hurdles. She comes in with the fourth-best time in the state.

The meet will set up for what should be an exciting final stretch of the track and field season. It will precede the Southeast Conference meet in Fairfield by one week.