Lolo's track transition continues at Drake Relays

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 10:22 p.m. CDT; updated 2:00 a.m. CDT, Friday, April 25, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Lolo Jones will continue her quick transition from bobsled to track this weekend with a hometown advantage.

That doesn't mean Jones can just snap her fingers and return to the form that made her a world-class hurdler.

Tigers at Drake Relays


10:00 a.m. Men's Javelin (Macauley Garton)

1:00 p.m. Women's Javelin (Sandra Hampton; Hailey Twietmeyer)

1:00 p.m. Women's High Jump (Camille Hayes; Shinelle Proctor; Morgan Whitson)

8:10 p.m. Women's 4x800m Relay

8:35 p.m. Men's 4x800m Relay


10:00 a.m. Men's High Jump (Tyler Donels; Mitch Hatten)

10:15 a.m. Women's Pole Vault (Alyssa Applebee; Maggie Givens; Heather Green; Katrine Haarklau)

12:15 p.m. Men's Hammer (Brian Duncan)

12:40 p.m. Men's Distance Medley

1:10 p.m. Women's Distance Medley

1:50 p.m. Men's 800m Run (Will Crocker)

Jones will compete Friday at the Drake Relays in her native Des Moines, just two months removed from an 11th-place finish as a brakeman for a U.S. sled at the Sochi Olympics.

Missouri has athletes scheduled to compete in 11 events at the Drake Relays on Friday and Saturday. Macauley Garton is the first scheduled to compete when he throws in the men's javelin at 10 a.m. Friday.

For Jones, rather than go for the meet title in her specialty, the 100-meter hurdles, she will team with world champion Bri Rollins, last year's 100 hurdles meet winner, Queen Harrison, and Vashti Thomas in the shuttle hurdle relay.

Jones hasn't won in four consecutive 100 hurdles races at Drake. The 31-year-old Jones is also dealing with the emotional and physical grind of switching from the bobsled to yet another full track season without a significant break.

Thus, the shuttle hurdle should help take some of the spotlight on Jones.

"It does make it more of a relay carnival-type atmosphere just because it's not my individualized event. But I think, with every race I have, it's still business for me. It's still, I'm trying to get a job done," Jones said. "You could say it takes the pressure off. But at the same time, if you do love your craft and if you're trying to do something well, you're still going to always put that pressure on yourself."

Jones is just one of a number of track stars the Drake Relays was able to lure to Des Moines.

American LaShawn Merritt, a Nike athlete and the world's current No. 1 in the 400, is scheduled to run Saturday against the likes of Kirani James, the defending Olympic champion.

While Penn doesn't offer purses, the winner of Friday's 400 will claim a $25,000 prize.

Drake is offering $50,000 total purses in a number of key events as part of a push it started in 2013 to lure more elite athletes to Iowa.

"The job called, so we're here," Merritt said. "My agent put it together, and I showed up."

There weren't any Olympic stars for Thursday's opening night of the meet, when cold and rainy conditions and a light schedule kept the crowd down.

But Katie Flood — also from Des Moines — marked her return to Drake Stadium with yet another impressive showing on the blue oval.

Washington swept the men's and women's 4x1600-meter relays, with Flood anchoring the Huskies to a winning time of 19 minutes, 9.27 seconds. They held off Iowa State by four seconds.

Flood won six meet titles while at Dowling Catholic High. But this was the first trip back as a collegian for the Washington senior, and Flood finished her leg in 4:41.9.

"That was perfect," Flood said.

Native Iowan Lindsay Lettow won the heptathlon for the second year in a row with 5,619 points, more than 200 more than runner-up Heather Miller Koch. Kurtis Brondyke, who won the NCAA Division III indoor pentathlon title in 2011 for Central College (Iowa), took the decathlon with 7,283 points.

Mary Alex England of Ole Miss held off Ohio State's Michelle Thomas to win the 10,000, while Trent Lusignan won the men's 10,000 in 29:55.69.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.