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Strong lineups announced for Drake Relays 2022

Some strong fields have been named for the women's 400m hurdles, men's shot put and pole vault for the 2022 Drake Relays, which will take place from April 27-30. World record holder Ryan Crouser headline the field of stars already confirmed.

Sam Kendricks of USA at the Trials
Sam Kendricks of USA at the Trials. Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging

Several world-class athletes have been confirmed to take part at the 2022 Drake Relays this year from April 27-30, 2022 at Drake Stadium, as we continue to monitor the progress of some of the world’s leading athletes during their preparations for this summer’s World Athletics Championships Oregon22 in July.

Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays, Blake Boldon, announced this month a top-class women’s 400 meters hurdles lineup in addition to lineups for the men’s shot put and pole vault for the 2022 Drake Relays Presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom.

READ MORE: Tickets for 2022 Penn Relays are now Available!

“The three fields that we are announcing today are among the best in Drake Relays history and it’s an indication of much more to come,” Boldon said.

“This single announcement includes five Olympic medalists and each field is stacked with world-class competitors. 

“Athletes at every level including high school, university and Olympic are ready to demonstrate that we are back on track.”

Multiple defending champions and Olympians will highlight the three announced lineups.  

Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles

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Four-time United States champion Dalilah Muhammad set the 400-meter hurdles World Record of 52.20 at Drake Stadium as part of the 2019 United States Track & Field Championships, then broke it at World Championships running 52.16.

Muhammad ran her personal record of 51.58 while winning Silver in Tokyo and earned 2016 Olympic Gold in the 400-meter hurdles and 4 x 400-meter relay. She owns four of the 10 fastest times ever run by an American in the 400 hurdles while currently ranking second.

Rio 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist and fan favorite, Ashley Spencer (PR of 53.11) returns to the Blue Oval as well as Gianna Woodruff. Woodruff, an All-American at the University of Washington is a 2021 Drake Relays champion and 2021 Olympic finalist.

Anna Cockrell will be making her first appearance in America’s Athletic Classic. She was a 5-time NCAA champion at the University of Southern California and was a 2021 Olympic semi-finalist, finishing third in the Olympic Trials.

The field also includes 3-time Jamaican national champion and fourth-place finisher in Tokyo Janieve Russell and 2-time U.S. champion Shamier Little, who owns a 52.39 personal best.

2022 Drake Relays Men’s Shot Put Field

As previously announced in February, Seven-time U.S. champion Ryan Crouser headlines the men’s shot put field as a 2016 and 2020 Olympic Champion.

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Crouser is the current indoor and outdoor (23.3m7/76-8.25) World Record holder with 169 throws over 22 meters in his career. He is the only person to ever surpass 23.16m/76-00 and he accomplished that twice in 2021. Crouser was 2018, 2019 and 2021 Drake Relays champion.

The Texas standout set a Drake Stadium record of 22.72m/77-5.6 , at the Blue Oval Showcase on August 29, 2020. The Drake Relays record of 22.10m/72-06.25 by Christian Cantwell dates back to 2006.

U.S. Paralympian Josh Cinnamo won the Paralympic Bronze medal in Tokyo in 2021.  Cinnamo is a 2003 graduate Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he participated in both Track and Field and Football.

He holds the F46 World Record of 16.80m/55-1.5 set at the 2019 World Championships. The F46 category is for athletes with a single upper-limb amputation. Cinnamo was born without the lower part of his right arm.

Tokyo 2021 Olympic finalist Payton Otterdahl has an outdoor personal record is 21.92m/71-11 when he finished 3rd at the 2021 Olympic Trials before finishing fourth in the 2022 U.S. indoor championships.

Otterdahl was a 2019 NCAA indoor shot put and weight throw champion at North Dakota State University. He finished fourth at 2021 Drake Relays after runner-up finishes in 2019 in the Invite event and in 2018 in the U/C division.

Rio 2016 Olympian Darrell Hill won the 2018 U.S. outdoor shot put title in Drake Stadium. Hill came in fifth at the 2019 outdoor World Championships and is a former Big Ten Champion and All-American at Penn State.

The field also includes 2016 Olympian Eldred Henry, Italy indoor national record holder Nick Ponzio, University of South Carolina indoor/outdoor All-American Josh Awotunde, Nigeria national record holder Chuck Enekwechi and Jamaica national record holder O’Dayne Richards.

Drake Relays 2022 Men’s Pole Vault

Chris Nilsen and Sam Kendricks will face off in the 2022 Drake Relays. Nilsen is the current U.S. indoor record holder at 6.05m/19-10.25 set on March 5, 2022. His outdoor PR is 5.97/19-7.

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Nilsen collected hardware at the 2021 Olympics (Silver) and the 2022 World indoor championships (Bronze). The Kansas City, Mo., native won in the 2019 Pan American Games. He has consistently been at the top in the Drake Relays finishing first in 2019 as well as second in 2018 and 2017. Nilsen was a three-time NCAA Champion at the University of South Dakota.

Kendricks is the reigning 2021 Drake Relays champion and currently is U.S. outdoor record holder, set in Drake Stadium at the 2019 U.S. Championships with a mark of 6.06m/19-10.5. He is a two-time World champion and nine-time U.S. champion while earning an Olympic Bronze medal in 2016. Kendricks is a multiple-time Drake Relays champion (2021, 2018, 2017, and 2015).

KC Lightfoot, the 2021 NCAA champion holds the collegiate all-time best of 6.00m/19-8.25, set in 2021 while at Baylor. He placed second in the 2021 Olympic Trials and fourth in Tokyo. 

The field also includes Jake Wooten (sixth in 2021 Drake Relays), Andrew Irwin (2019 Drake Relays pole vault at Capitol Square champion), Matt Ludwig, (third in 2021 Drake Relays), Charlie Myers (two-time Great Britain national champion), Hussain Al-Hizam (Saudi Arabia national record holder), Cole Walsh (fifth in 2021 Drake Relays), Nate Richartz (ACC champion, All-American at Notre Dame) and Audie Wyatt (seventh in 2021 Drake Relays).

The 2022 Drake Relays Schedule can be found here (PDF).

The 112th Drake Relays presented by Xtream powered by Mediacom will be held April 27-30 at Drake Stadium. Single session reserved tickets for the 2022 Drake Relays are now available for purchase on

—Courtesy of Drake Relays

Written/compiled/published by one of the World-Track and Field website staff members or editors from press releases or public submissions.

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