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Iowa House passes resolution commemorating 100th running of Relays

April 15, 2009
News Photo
Rep. Scott Raecker introduces the resolution under the watchful eyes of Drake leaders.

The Iowa House of Representatives today unanimously passed a resolution commemorating the 100th running of the Drake Relays next week.

The resolution was jointly sponsored by three representatives with Drake ties:

  • Wayne Ford, D-Des Des Moines, a Drake alumnus
  • Erik Helland, R-Grimes, a Drake graduate and third-year Drake law student
  • Scott Raecker, R-Urbandale, executive director of the Institute for Character Development at Drake University

Drake President David Maxwell, Athletic Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb and Relays Director Brian Brown were among the University representatives present in the House Chambers for the reading of the resolution and the vote.

"We are very grateful to Representatives Ford, Helland and Raecker and their colleagues for making this happen," President Maxwell said. "We're also very appreciative of the recognition and acknowledgement of the role that Drake Relays has played in the state of Iowa."


News Photo
Chris Smith, Erik Helland, Wayne Ford, Megan Schneider, Carolyn Hill, Brian Brown, Sandy Hatfield Clubb, David Maxwell and Scott Raecker.

The text of the resolution appears below:

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 37

BY SCOTT RAECKER, WAYNE FORD and ERIK HELLAND

A Resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Drake Relays.

WHEREAS, Drake University, in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa, will host the centennial Drake Relays in April 2009; and

WHEREAS, just five years after being held in a blizzard in 1910,
the Drake Relays was recognized as the third=largest track and field
event in the world; and

WHEREAS, the Drake Relays is one of Iowa's premier events, an
annual multiday festival that has expanded beyond the campus of Drake
University to encompass several venues throughout the Des Moines area;
and

WHEREAS, the Relays' high school track and field events attract
hundreds of young men and women athletes and their supporters and
families from all over Iowa; and

WHEREAS, upon entering its second century the Drake Relays have
grown to become one of the largest and most important track meets in
the United States, attracting top collegiate and professional talent;
and


News Photo
Rep. Wayne Ford reads the list of stellar athletes who have graced the Relays over the years.

WHEREAS, over the decades a host of famous athletes and personalities have participated in the Drake Relays, including:

  • Fabled Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens;
  • Radio announcer and future President Ronald Reagan;
  • Big Eight champion high jumper and future NBA Hall=of=Famer Wilt Chamberlain;
  • World-record miler Jim Ryun;
  • World-record decathlete Bruce Jenner;
  • Nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis;
  • Pan American Games silver medal distance runner Cindy Bremser;
  • NCAA champion distance runner Steve Scott;
  • Four-time Olympian high jumper Amy Acuff; and
  • Iowa athletes Lori "Lolo" Jones and Natasha Kaiser-Brown


News Photo
Drake officials are joined by alumni and others with ties to the University for a group photo.

WHEREAS, as part of this centennial event, 10 men and 10 women who
have competed in the Relays will be named as Athletes of the Century;

NOW THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

That the House of Representatives honors and congratulates Drake
University as the Drake Relays is poised to enter its second century of
excellence, achievement and excitement.