Drake Relays director Brian Brown says fans who attend this months 99th running of the event will see a number of competitors who will take part in the Olympic Games this summer in Beijing, China. Brown says in an Olympic year the athletes set their calendar with the hopes of peaking at the U.S. Olympic trials in June.
Brown says many would either hold out, continue training or pick and choose their meets. He says now the athletes understand they need the meet to gauge where they are and perform in front of a crowd.
Brown took part in three Olympic trials as a high jumper and knows how the competitors try and set their schedule. He says typically you set your season relative to the Olympic trials and work backwards based on where you want to peak for the trials. Brown says the puts many of the meets as a training or stepping stone for the trials.
Brown says for many athletes the Drake Relays are a good place to get an early test to see where they are at in terms of training. In past years Olympic hopefuls have used the relays as a training tool. He says many times athletes will run events other than the ones they will run in the Olympics to get an idea of where they are in training. The Drake Relays are April 24th through the 26th.