DES MOINES - The 104th Drake Relays will take place this week at the blue oval at Drake Stadium and several area athletes will be taking part in the festivities.
A total of nine entries qualified for the annual event in Des Moines - four field events and five relays.
Marshalltown High School will be present in three relays as both the girls' and boys' 4x100-meter relay squads advanced, as did the Bobcat girls' sprint medley team.
The boys' 4x100 relay foursome includes Brandon Pettigrew, Dacoda Ewalt, Paul Landherr and Tad Steffensen, while the girls' 4x100 relay quartet is Chione Brooks, Karli McClure, Jasmine Scott and Eisha Oden.
The boys will run in heat 1 and lane 1 after qualifying 19th with a time of 44.29 seconds, while the MHS girls will compete in heat 5 and lane 6 and advanced with a time of 52.33 (35th). There are 80 4x100 relay teams which advanced to the Relays - 10 heats total - for both boys and girls.
The Bobcat girls' sprint medley qualifying team is the same foursome of Brooks, McClure, Scott and Oden. That unit produced a time of 1:54.32, which ranks 20th overall. The Bobcats will be in heat 1, lane 6 in this race.
Joining the Bobcat boys in the 4x100 relay will be the South Tama County foursome of Kyle Stephenson, Kaleb Davenport, Daryl Bidwell and Dylan Kalinay, and that same STC group also qualified in the 4x200 relay.
The Trojans enter the weekend with the 10th-best 4x100 time (43.86) and 13th best 4x200 time (1:31.35). They will be in heat 3 and lane 6 of the 4x100 relay and heat 2 and lane 6 of the 4x200 relay.
The Bobcat girls will run in the sprint medley at 10:14 a.m. Friday and then in the 4x100 relay at 5:15 p.m. that same day. The MHS boys and STC boys will run in the 4x100 relay at 6 p.m. Friday and the Trojans 4x200 relay will take place at 1:27 p.m. Friday.
The individual qualifiers in the area all will be competing in field events.
South Tama County's Samantha Holtz will kick off the high school portion of the Relays when she throws discus at 3 p.m. Thursday. Holtz enters the event with the 18th best throw of 122 feet, 8 inches. She also just missed out on the shot put as she had the 27th best throw of an event that took the top 24.
West Marshall's Jennifer Davis was in the top 24 in the shot put and will be throwing at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. Davis' top throw of 38-7 was the 21st best qualifying mark.
Also competing Friday morning will be South Hardin's Sarah Boomgarden and GMG's Caitlin Appelgate, who both advanced in the high jump. The high jump will have just one flight of 24 jumpers and the competition will start at 9:45 a.m.
Boomgarden's best jump of 5-6 is the third best mark in the state so far this year, while Appelgate's 5-2 3/4 sits at 15th.