Drake Relays, U.S. Paralympics Make Strides With Additional Events In 2018

By Brianna Tammaro | April 10, 2018, 5:23 p.m. (ET)

David Brown and Jerome Avery , pictured  above in 2016, will return to the Blue Oval this year where Drake Relays will host four Paralympic events, the most offered since 2012. 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – More than 10 U.S. Paralympians will return to the Blue Oval as part of a significant partnership between Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee and U.S Paralympics, the two organizations announced today. The 109th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee will present four Paralympic events, the most ever since 2012, with the women’s wheelchair 100- and 400-meter, and the men’s ambulatory 100 and 200 taking place April 27-28 in Des Moines, Iowa.

“We are thrilled about the inclusion of additional Paralympic events at the Drake Relays,” said Cathrine Erickson, director of U.S. Paralympics Track & Field. “The Drake Relays continues to show commitment to the growth of the Paralympic Movement and it will be an incredible opportunity to showcase our athletes and program at such a renowned meet.”

The 2018 edition will feature the debut of the men’s 100 and women’s 400. This year also marks the most Paralympic events hosted at the Blue Oval since 2012 when the inaugural Paralympic events took place.

Highlighting the U.S. field are Paralympic champions David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) and guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California) who will be returning to Drake Relays for the third year. Brown and Avery won their first Paralympic medals with gold and silver at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016 in the 100 and 200, respectively. Other Paralympians set to compete include Hannah McFadden (Baltimore, Maryland), Kelsey LeFevour (Chicago, Illinois), Josiah Jamison (Vance, South Carolina) and guide Rolland Slade (Spring Valley, California)Markeith Price (Baltimore, Maryland),and Regas Woods (Ocala, Florida)

“We’re excited to welcome U.S Paralympics and their world-class athletes back to the Blue Oval,” said Blake Boldon, the Franklin P. Johnson director of the Drake Relays. “Paralympic athletes have established a rich legacy at the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee with their tremendous and inspiring performances that have been met with robust adoration from our fans. We’re thrilled to expand our schedule of Paralympic events to include a women’s 400 meters and men’s 100 meters for the first time as Team USA prepares for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo."

Paralympic events at Drake Relays will kick off with the men’s 100 on Friday afternoon, followed by the women’s 100 that evening. Competition will continue Saturday morning with the women’s 400 and conclude that afternoon with the men’s 200. For more information, visit DrakeRelays.org