pacing the void

By Chris Jackson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 25, 1997

Drake Relays to include more than 6,000 athletes

If the question of how many track athletes there are in the country has ever popped into one's mind, the Drake Relays that start today in Des Moines, Iowa will answer that question.

And then some.

The Arizona men's and women's track teams will be among the 6,945 athletes representing 649 teams from across the country. There will be 120 men's and 108 women's college teams represented.

"It's kind of a fun meet," UA head coach Dave Murray said. "It's probably the biggest one besides the NCAA Championships, in terms of people."

Two distance runners, sophomores Amy Skieresz and Emily Nay will head to the Penn Relays instead of going with the rest of the team to Iowa.

Murray wanted to give both a chance to qualify for the NCAA's in the 10,000 meters, an event that is rarely held at most track meets.

"I think both should be able to qualify," Murray said. "I think it could be the best event for Amy and for Emily, too."

Arizona comes into the Drake Relays as the defending champion in both the men's and women's distance medleys.

"We have a good shot of finishing in the top 5," Murray said of his teams' chances to repeat.

Now, the UA just has to hope the weather cooperates - something it has not done in the past three weeks.

"We have seen it all in Iowa," Murray said.

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