Relays Week

The moment every Drake student has been waiting for since August.

It’s the 105th RELAYS WEEK! Monday kicks off with the Beautiful Bulldog Contest in the Knapp Center where 50 bulldogs will compete for the grand prize of Most Beautiful Bulldog. Other awards include things like Best Dressed, Congeniality and Rescue Dog Recognition. This is definitely an event that garners a lot of attention. Our beloved Bulldog mascot is different from any other university. There are not many other schools that can say they have a live mascot!

Also taking place today is the Hy-Vee high jump which is in its first year. This event will actually take place inside the Waukee Hy-Vee. The store has cleared out its produce section for the set-up and admission is free to the public. These same jumpers will also compete in Drake Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

I would encourage every student and even people in the Des Moines area to get out and experience the many facets of the Drake Relays. It is a world-class event that surely carries a ton of pride and tradition with it.

Nothing Compares

It’s true, nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair.

Last summer, I got the opportunity to intern for the nonprofit of the Iowa State Fair that raises money for the preservation and renovation of the fairgrounds. My “official” title was Public Relations Intern in which I promoted a program called Iowan of the Day throughout the state of Iowa. This was a way of recognizing the many outstanding volunteers in their respective communities. I’ve always had a theory that the nicest people come from the midwest-especially Iowa and Nebraska. This experience definitely confirmed that theory!

The best part in running this program was treating them to a full day at the fair. I was able to greet every Iowan of the Day each morning with a bag of goodies and keys to their golf cart. Prior to this experience, I had only been to the Iowa State Fair one other time and hadn’t really explored a whole lot. It was incredible to see the amount of people that filled the fairgrounds, even at 9 in the morning! I should have kept track of how many corndogs I saw being eaten for breakfast over that 10 day stretch.

There is no doubt one of Iowa’s richest traditions and biggest tourist attractions, the Iowa State Fair, lives up to the hype. Not only was it valuable from a public relations standpoint and everything I took away from it in those regards, but to see what all goes into an event of that magnitude was far more valuable than I could have ever imagined.

“Prelays”

Now in my fourth year at Drake University, I have realized that the Drake Relays easily make for one of the most exciting times of the year. The experience of watching world-class athletes and Olympians is absolutely unmatched. And along with that, it truly sets Drake University and Des Moines, Iowa apart from any college or city in the United States. Hosting some of the best track athletes in the world in our very own blue oval is something I believe every Drake Student should get out and see. Besides the track meet itself which will take place April 24 through April 27, there are two other events that rank up there as my favorite: pole vaulting in Jordan Creek Mall and the Beautiful Bulldog Contest.  

The Student-Athlete Experience

My working experience ranges from an internship at the Iowa State Fair this past summer in which I promoted a program called Iowan of the Day, to writing a column in the Drake University Times Delphic school newspaper, to partaking in a student ambassador outreach program for a nonprofit organization called Team IMPACT. I am also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council social committee and the Student Alumni Association senior week council.

On the basketball court I pride myself on being the “spark plug” of the team. If my experience as a Division I athlete has taught me anything, it is that pouring your energy into other people reaps unbelievable rewards. There is no greater feeling than representing a cause much bigger than oneself.