Two runners with Olympic hopes will compete the Drake Relays later this month. Wallace Spearmon is the U.S. indoor record holder in the 200 meters and is hoping to lower the Drake record.
Spearmon says his is going to tailor his race schedule to give him the best chance to qualify for the Olympics. “I’ll race three weekends in a row and then I’m going to shut it back down for awhile,” Spearmon says. He says Drake will be the first of those three weekends.
Spearmon finished third in the 200 at the 2008 Olympics but was disqualified for running out of his lane. Jenny Simpson is the reigning world champion in the 1,500 meters and spent her early years in Iowa. Simpson was born in Webster City and lived in Ames.
She says her very best memories are coming back to Iowa to visit her grandparents in Spencer and Storm Lake who farm. Simpson calls them “really great classic Iowa families.”
Simpson says Drake is the perfect place for her to start and Olympic year as a lot of her family will be at the race and she says she’s been to Drake a number of times.
Simpson was the American record holder in the steeplechase before switching to the 1,500 meters. “I think every single athlete kind of has an idea in their mind of their own progression, where they are and where they’d like to be in the next couple of years. Crossing the finish line, I just couldn’t believe that this was happening to me now,” Simpson says.
The Drake Relays are April 26th through the 28th.