Home Official News Releases Initial list of top Drake Relays athletes of century announced

Initial list of top Drake Relays athletes of century announced

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Relays Director Brian Brown discuses the Drake Relays Madness pool, similar to the NCAA March Madness, at Monday’s news conference.
CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

With 100 days counting to the 100th running of the Drake Relays April 23-25, meet officials unveiled an initial list of athletes who have been selected as the top 10 Drake Relays men’s and women’s athletes of the century.

Steve Scott, who is one of the greatest milers in track and field history, and decathlete Kip Janvrin, who is the Drake Relays all-time career individual victory leader with 17 titles, were the first group of top 10 men’s athletes of the century disclosed.

Four-time Olympic high jumper Amy Acuff, along with distance standout Cindy Bremser, also were selected among the top Drake Relays women athletes of the century.

Together, the group combined to win 31 individual Drake Relays titles, while setting seven Drake Relays records in the process.

Fans will have an opportunity to select the top moment in Drake Relays history by participating in a Drake Relays Madness pool, similar to the NCAA March Madness.

Drake Relays director Brian Brown explained that the bracket will contain 32 of the greatest moments from the meet and will be available on the Drake Relays Web site at www.drakerelays100.com.

After the cutoff date on Feb. 9, fans will vote weekly for their most memorable events with the winners each week moving onto the next round until a single event is chosen as the Drake Relays Most Memorable Moment. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package that includes a complimentary hotel room during Drake Relays weekend at the downtown Marriott Hotel, along with two all-session tickets to the Drake Relays, apparel and a Drake Relays champion watch.

“We want to share some of the history, legacy and destiny that have encompassed the 100 years of the Drake Relays,” Brown said. “We want to make sure we remember our past and illustrious history.”

All 20 Drake Relays Athletes of the Century will be honored during a gala event on Thursday, April 23, at the Drake Knapp Center.

Scott has run 136 sub-4 minute miles in his career, more than any other runner in history. He is best remembered for fulfilling a promise to run the first sub-4 minute mile in Drake Relays history in 1979 of 3:55.26 – a record that would stand for nearly 30 years.

The former American record holder became the first athlete to win races at three different distances at the Drake Relays, while claiming titles in the invitational 800 in 1980 and the invitational 5,000 in 1982. He also won the invitational mile at the 1981 Drake Relays. Scott was named the co-athlete of the Drake Relays quarter century (1960-84) with Mike Boit.

Janvrin, a native of Panora, Iowa, won nine straight Drake Relays decathlon titles from 1995-2003, setting a meet record with 8,198 points in 1996. Following his 15th Drake Relays decathlon crown in 2005, Janvrin announced his retirement.

But he came back to win the master’s 800-meter run in 2006 and then set a meet record of 1:53.89 in 2007 at age 42.

Bremser, a former University of Wisconsin standout, was a pioneer in women’s distance events at the Drake Relays winning the 1,500 six times (1979, 1981-85). She became the first athlete, man or woman, to win the same individual Drake Relays event six times, setting records in 1984 (4:12.46) and 1985 (4:10.89).

Acuff set a Drake Stadium high jump record in her first appearance at the Drake Relays in 2001 at 6 feet 3 1/4 inch. She also captured titles in 2004, 2005 and 2006 when she set a meet record at 6-4.