Drake Relays Director Brian Brown announced last week that a new high jump exhibition will take place at this year’s competition, and here’s the rub: The “High Jump at Hy-Vee” will take place in an actual Hy-Vee store in Waukee, Iowa. A statement released by the Drake Relays states:
The unique configuration of the event will allow the current field of eight confirmed jumpers, which includes three World Championship medalists and three Olympic medalists, to take off from the aisles of Hy-Vee in a setting that will bring fans and shoppers face-to-face with world class athletes.
“Last year with Hy-Vee’s help, we were able to make the Relays stronger than ever and this year we intend to raise the bar,” Brown said. “We’re going to not only conceptually raise the bar, but literally raise the bar. We’re going to have a new event on Monday, April 21, we’re going to high jump at Hy-Vee in Waukee.”
The Drake Relays are regarded as one of the premiere track and field events in the country, with more than 25 Olympic medalists taking part in last year’s competition. Hy-Vee is its presenting sponsor as of 2013, providing (most notably) support for the competition’s prize purse.
“It’s going to be a great event in a unique setting much like we do for pole vault in the mall,” Brown said. “This is an opportunity for the Drake Relays and Hy-Vee to show the community what can be done with a strong partnership.”
The Drake Relays have gained some attention in recent years for holding a pole vault exhibition at the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, Iowa. London Olympic Games silver medalists Bjorn Otto and Yarisley Silva won last year’s event.
The next Jordan Creek Center pole vault is slated for April 23 at 6:15 p.m. — the first day of the 2014 Drake Relays.
The 105th Drake Relays are set for April 23-26. All-session ticket packages are currently available to the general public. For additional ticket and event information, visit www.drakerelays.org.