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Drake Relays preview

Demons’ 4x100 relay seeded 80th at Drake

By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Apr 25, 2013
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington will take 13 athletes to the Drake Relays in Des Moines this weekend. Front row (left to right): Amber Salow, Dema Giardino, Grace Redlinger, Sammy Ellingson and Natalee Enfield. Back row: Head boys’ track coach Steve Roth, Gage Redlinger, Austin Witt, Garrett Covington, Alex Coker, Carl Sivels, Tanner Knupp, Kyle Roder and head girls’ track coach Stefanie Tschantz. Not pictured: Macy Marek.

Washington’s quartet of Carl Sivels, Gage Redlinger, Kyle Roder and Austin Witt is seeded last out of 80 teams in the 4x100 relay for this weekend’s Drake Relays.

No worries. They’re in, and that’s all that matters.

“We don’t care where we’re seeded,” Washington head boys’ track and field coach Steve Roth said. “We were seeded 77th last year and got 65th, so it doesn’t matter where you’re seeded. It’s a matter of getting in, and we’re in. If we were 81st, we wouldn’t have been in. It’s like the [NCAA basketball tournament]. You want in.”

Now all the Demons have to worry about is lowering their season-best time of 45.60 seconds when they run in the prelims at 6 p.m. on Friday evening.

“We want to lower our time and get used to the handoffs,” Roth said. “It’s a reward for them. We want to get the baton around and watch the rest of the elite athletes this weekend.”

One of Washington’s elite athletes won’t be able to compete at the Drake Relays this weekend. Junior Alex Coker, who normally anchors the 4x100 relay and who also qualified for Drake in the long jump, is still recovering from a hamstring injury in his right leg.

“It’s a real bummer,” Roth said. “I feel really bad for him because he’s put a lot of weekends and a lot of time into everything. We haven’t had a long jumper go to the Drake Relays in many, many years. That’s very cool. He deserves the accolades he’s gotten because he had a great first part of the season, but he’s just had some issues with staying healthy. I feel bad for him, but it’s about the end of the season for him.”

Roth hopes that Coker will be healthy enough to run one event at Monday’s Brookhart Relays in Fairfield and then be able to compete in Thursday’s Southeast Conference meet at home.

“He’s not too far away,” Roth said. “He’s jogging, and he says he feels pretty good.”

Roth was pleased to qualify two events for the Drake Relays, even if Coker is unable to compete.

“It’s nice to have a 4x100 in. It’s nice to have a long jump in. Two events is outstanding this time of year, especially when the weather conditions have been so [terrible]. I’m very pleased,” Roth said.

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