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3,200-meter relay a bright spot for Iowa

BY MARIO WILLIAMS | APRIL 28, 2015 5:00 AM

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DES MOINES — Despite a large chunk of the Iowa track and field relay squads not performing up to its potential at the Drake Relays, the men’s 3,200-meter relay squad had no problem shining.

On the second day of the meet, the men’s 4x800-meter squad set foot on the blue oval as the audience cheered and the Drake Stadium lights shone over them. The quartet of freshmen Carter Lilly, Ryan Dorman, junior Will Teubel, and senior Brennan Davey crossed the line in 7:31.48 to earn fourth place.

The group of athletes was chosen at the last minute. Assistant coach Jason Wakenight had no regrets in his decision.

“We kind of put together just a bunch of Iowa guys, and it was a little bit of a ragtag group,” he said. “We just decided sure, let’s do it and hold it together.

“For that group to be in the lead for 3,000-meters and have one lap to go in the race before Brennan was awesome. It was exciting. I was very ecstatic, and it was a lot of fun to watch.”

Lilly, who’s no stranger to the Drake Relays, competed last year during his senior year of high school and was crowned a champion. He set the tone for the group of four as he led the way before passing the baton to Dorman.

Wakenight gave him a bit of guidance that he believes helped him succeed during the competition.

“Before the race, we just really had a good plan,” Lilly said. “Wakenight told me to get out there, get up front, get with the leaders, and execute to set the next guy out.”

Wakenight said Lilly is very coachable when it comes to the relays and on his individual events. With this, he had no concerns on the freshman leading much of the way in the first leg of the relay.

“He’s had so much success just following through on race strategy,” Wakenight said. “In that race, it has nothing to do with time, it’s the position you get the baton in. Carter did a great job of executing and staying out of trouble.”

While Lilly believed coaching helped him during the event, one other member of the squad had other thoughts.

The Drake Relays is known for its enthusiastic crowd, which could be filled with a lot of Hawkeye fans. For Teubel, this is what helped him run with confidence on his leg.

“Drake is like a bigger home meet for us,” Teubel said. “When I was making the move at the end, I heard the crowd roar and stuff, and that was something special. Hearing them just erupt was just crazy.”

Teubel ended up running past many other competitors to hand the baton to anchor Davey, which set him up for a good position in the race against other top-tier anchors.

Davey believed ending April 24 with their relay was a good way to close his last Drake Relays appearance as a Hawkeye.

“Running at Drake in high school and this being my last Drake Relays is great,” Davey said. “This was one of the best crowds I’ve ever run in front of.

“I’ll always take the Drake Relays experience with me and the awesome atmosphere that is here.”

Follow @marioxwilliams on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa track and field team.


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