Workers at a Hy-Vee in Waukee spent last night moving the store’s produce section to make room for the opening event of the 105th Drake Relays.
Darin Hirl, director of Hy-Vee event marketing, says a high jump exhibition will take place just inside the main entrance to the store beginning tonight at 6. “You know, initially, you can say ‘that sounds kind of crazy,’ but the success they’ve had taking events out of Drake Stadium and into the community is phenomenal,” Hirl said. “In the past, they’ve had the high jump downtown, the pole vault at the mall, and the shot put at Simon Estes (Amphitheater). When they did present this idea to us, we jumped on board right away.”
Officials moved all the fresh fruits and vegetables to make room for the runway, the pole and landing mat, and 200 chairs for spectators. Hirl expects 500 to 700 people could be in the store to watch some of the world’s top high jumpers.
A number of the competitors visited the store last night and for some, it marked the first time they’d been in a Hy-Vee. “Not only were there to check out how the high jump was going to work in the produce isle, they also spent some money buying bananas, water, and Gatorade in prep for their training throughout the week,” Hirl said.
The women’s field for the exhibition event includes Olympic and World silver medalist Brigetta Barrett. The men’s field includes Olympic and World bronze medalist Derek Drouin and Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard. The same athletes will compete at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Friday and Saturday. The event is free to the public.