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Buy or sell: Buy or Sell: Drake Relays edition

BY KATRINA DO and JORDAN HANSEN | APRIL 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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Buy or sell: Iowa will win a title on the track.

Do: Buy. The Hawkeye women have won at least one title in each of the last three years, and this year’s team is better.

Iowa won the sprint medley relay at Drake in 2011; the 2011 relay team also held the school record in the 4x400-meter — but this year’s relay team beat that record earlier this spring by more than a second. The 2014 team also leads the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally.

Hansen: Sell. While the Hawkeye men’s sprinters have been better recently, they still have a bit of work to do before they will be at the level they need to be at to contend.

It does not help that the sprinters and relay runners have been battling injuries for the better part of the last two months.

Buy or sell: Hawkeyes will win an event in the field.

Do: Sell. It’s obvious that the throwers have been making some big strides this season, especially in the hammer. Annemie Smith (school record holder), Jasmine Simpson, and Ashlyn Gulvas are highly ranked in the conference — second, fourth, and fifth.

But a top-five hammer throw ranking in the Big Ten doesn’t mean much compared with the competition that will be at Drake.

The Drake Relays are recognized on the world stage as one of the top track and field events in America; it’s almost like nationals, but bigger. Instead of all the high-quality competition from just Division-I schools, this weekend will feature a plethora of top college athletes from around the nation.

Hansen: Buy. Iowa has a multitude of talent in the field events and at least one will have a strong enough meet to win. The favorites have to be juniors Gabe Hull and Babatunde Amosu.

Hull is one of the best throwers in the nation, ranking eighth in the country in the discus. Amosu is certainly capable of taking the title in the triple jump — he’s ranked sixth nationally. Last, never count out freshman O’Shea Wilson in the long jump. The freshman is due to break out any meet now, and this could certainly be his chance.

Buy or sell: The results of Drake will be indicative of how Iowa will do at Big Tens.

Do: Buy. Three of the same women who won the sprint medley relays at Drake in 2011 also won the 4x400 title at the Big Ten championships, so this weekend’s performances could definitely serve as a preview for the Big Tens. 

However, because the Drake Relays include about 220 colleges compared with the 11 schools in the conference meet, the results are a little iffy. Ultimately, if the Hawkeyes score big in an event this weekend, it’ll be a good sign for the Big Tens.

Hansen: Buy. Despite the injuries that Iowa has suffered this season, the Hawks will go all out in this meet whether they are all the way healthy or not. For the team, Drake is on the same level of importance as Big Tens, and this will show.

To add to spectacle of the meet, nine out of the eleven teams in the Big Ten (including Iowa) will be in attendance at the event. It will be one of the first times this outdoor season that this many Big Ten teams will be in attendance together and could certainly be a preview for what is to come at the conference meet.


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