Drake Relays: Women's 4x1,600-meter relay wins event title

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa's female tracksters kicked off the weekend at the Drake Relays with a promising start as the women's 4x1,600-meter relay team won its event on Thursday night.

The team of Betsy Flood, Jackie Laesch, Megan Ranegar, and McKenzie Melander won the event in 19:16.73 minutes, edging conference rival Minnesota by 0.98 seconds. The Hawkeyes and Gophers outran the field by 17 seconds.

What made this victory sweeter for the Hawkeyes was that Minnesota-native Melander ran the winning anchor leg — a mile time of 4:40.5 minutes — to foil her home team of a Drake Relays victory.

Melander was especially happy to get the victory — this was many of the relay team members' last shot at winning at the Drake Relays.

"Three of us are seniors, so we've waited a long time for this," she said in a release.

It was also a homecoming victory for Flood, who graduated from West Des Moines Dowling. This is Flood's eighth year at the Drake Relays — she has run more meets on the Jim Duncan Track than any other surface in the country, including Iowa's home Cretzmeyer Track.

Flood seemed excited about her team's victory on Thursday night.

"I see they've upgraded the flags," she said of the team's awards in a release. "Nice. We can hang these forever."

— by Cody Goodwin

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