Distance runners strong to close Drake Relays

By The Mercury

DES MOINES, Iowa — After high winds and cool temperatures made for a difficult day at the track on Friday, the winds calmed on Saturday for much better conditions on the final day of the 103rd Drake Relays and the Kansas State track and field team came away with a handful of strong performances.

To open the day for the Wildcats, freshman Fernando Ramon posted a new personal best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He held steady around 10th place through the first half of the race and then moved his way up to eighth over the final few laps to finish eighth.

The final running event of the day for the Wildcats was the men’s 800 meters with Armando Del Valle up against a strong field No. 15-ranked Blake Irwin of Missouri. Del Valle drew an inside lane assignment and was able to push his way along the rail over the final 250 meters to move past some other runners in the final turn. He crossed the line in 1:50.74 to finish fourth.

The men’s distance medley relay team combined to run 10:01.84 and finish 13th. It was a young group running with sophomore Kyle Hanson running the first 1,200 meters before handing to freshman Chris Campbell to run the 400, and senior Jacob Davies handed to freshman Logan Smith to run the final 1,600 meters.

Senior Tomaz Bogovic narrowly missed making the final in the men’s hammer throw, coming in ninth place. He had a toss of 191-03 (58.30m).

One former Wildcats competed at the Drake Relays as Amy Mortimer took on a highly-talented field in a special invitational women’s 1,500 meters. She crossed the line in 4:14.71 to finish fourth, trailing former NCAA, USA and world champion Jenny Barringer-Simpson.

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