UNI competes at Drake Relays, Heitland third



COLIN HORNING, Sports Writer

The 2019 Drake Relays took place this past weekend from Wednesday through Saturday, April 24-27, at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.

The four-day long event pits some of Iowa’s top high school track athletes against each other, as well as college track programs from around the country.

The UNI track & field team participated in numerous events over the weekend, many resulting in strong showings.

The Panther women received a ninth-place finish overall in the University team rankings, while the men placed 11th overall.

Northern Iowa freshman and Manchester, Jamaica native Patrice Watson earned a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.43, while five Northern Iowa relay teams were able to finish with top-eight finishes on the last day of the event.

The Panther women picked up a fourth-place finish in the 1,600-spring medley with a time of 3:59.96 with a team of Taylor Raines, Jasmine Blue, Maddie McCalla and Lyndsie Schinkel.

They also secured a fifth-place finish in the 4×100 shuttle hurdle relay, logging a time of 60.04. Members of the relay team included Hannah Schau, Brooke Lorenz, Patrice Watson and Erica Loussaert.

The Panther men also had a strong showing in the relays, clocking in at 3:13.30 in the 4×400 meter relay which was good enough for a fourth-place finish. The team was comprised of seniors Bryce Newcomb and Corey Hertz and sophomores Sven Van Den Bergh and Conor Blough. 

A time of 1:27.02 in the 4×200 meter relay also earned the purple and gold a second finish in fourth-place. Blough and Van Den Bergh took part in this relay as well, partnered with Eli Hicks and Tayshaun Cooper.

Austin Heitland also placed third in the decathlon with a final tally of 6,644 points over the ten events.

Up next for the UNI track team is the Wisconsin Twilight meet held in Madison, Wis., on Friday, May 3.

This will be their final meet before the Missouri Valley Conference Track and Field Championships are held on May 10-12 in Terre Haute, Ind.