Linn-Mar's Evans Named Most Outstanding Runner At Relays

By Jeff Linder, Reporter


By Grant Burkhardt

DES MOINES, Iowa – Linn-Mar junior Josh Evans has earned the Robert Kramme award as the boys’ outstanding performer at the 104th edition of the Drake Relays.

The award, voted on by members of the media that covered the Drake Relays, was announced on Monday.

Other winners included: Mississippi’s Isiah Young, the Maury White Award winner as the men’s collegiate and invitational most outstanding performer; Jenny Simpson’s in the women’s division; and Agnes Sayeh of Des Moines Roosevelt for the Gerry Cooley Award as the girls’ most outstanding performer.

Evans, a near-unanimous winner, recorded a 1,600-meter performance that brought sold-out Drake Stadium to its feet for one of its biggest ovations of the weekend. Evans set a torrid pace in the race to finish in 4:10.86, the fastest time in Iowa boys’ high school history. His performance also broke the Relays record of 4:11.57 set by Pekin’s Steve Griener in 1979 which was the oldest Relays record in a currently staged boys’ running event at the Relays.

Young repeated as the Drake Relays champion in the university 100-meter dash with a time of 10.07 in a slight wind. Had it not been for the tailwind that was just 0.1 meters per second over the allowable windspeed, the 2012 Olympian’s performance would been a Drake Relays record and broken the 30-year-old mark of 10.11 set by Alabama’s Calvin Smith in 1983. He also anchored Mississippi’s 4×100 and 4×400-meter relays.

Iowa native Simpson earned the women’s most outstanding performer honor after posting a Drake Relays and Drake Stadium record time of 4:03.35 in the London Games Rematch of the 1,500 meters. The former world champion crushed an elite field by nearly 40 meters after taking the lead from the rabbit 2:30 into the race. Her time was the fastest in the world this season and shattered Suzy Favor Hamilton’s previous Drake Relays record of 4:05.13 by nearly two seconds in tough, windy conditions. The honor is the second of Simpson’s career as she was previously named the Relays most outstanding performer in 2011.

Competing less than two miles from her high school, Sayeh thrilled the hometown crowd by winning the 100 meters in 12.56 into a stiff headwind and anchoring Roosevelt’s 4×100, 4×200 and sprint medley relay teams to victory.

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