West athletes qualify for Drake Relays


Grace Young

By Grace Young

Members of the boys and girls track teams will load up a bus Thursday afternoon and head to Drake Stadium to compete in one of the most prestigious track and field events in the nation. Individuals and relays compete against all schools across the state regardless of class for a spot on the “blue oval”.

Individual qualifiers include three double-event qualifiers Ashlynn Yokom ’14 (3000 and 1500 meters), Daniel Gardarsson ’14 (3200 and 1600 meters) as well as Valerie Welch ’17 (100 and 400 hurdles). Competition to qualify for the 400 meter hurdles is the stiffest of all the events – only eight girls and eight boys in the entire state are given the opportunity to compete in that event.

Also qualifying individually on the girls side are Taleah Smith ’17 (long jump), Abby Brayton ’14 (discus) and Grace Young ’16 (100 hurdles). Kaleb Greiner ’14, the only returning member of last years 4×800 Drake Championship relay team, qualified for the 800 open with a time just one second off the top seed.

The girls team posted relay times in the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, shuttle hurdle relay and sprint medley fast enough to qualify. Members of the boys 4×100, 4×400, 4×800, shuttle hurdle relay and distance medley will be attending the event as well.