Changes Coming for 2016 Drake Relays

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Spectators at the 2016 Drake Relays will notice a few changes to this year’s event.

First, one of the most popular Drake Relays events will move back indoors this year.  A special men's and women's invitational pole vault will be staged in the atrium of Capital Square, located in downtown Des Moines.

“You know what, the pole vault has been a real fan favorite,” said Brian Brown, Drake Relays. “It’s kinda nice to move it around but we may have found something. Capital Square is a great location. It takes some of the weather elements out and it’s inside. Should be a lot of fun this year.”

The event will feature 10 of the top pole vaulters in the world launching themselves toward world record heights inside the popular downtown venue on Wednesday, April 27. Last year, many of the same competitors competed in front of thousands of fans in the first Court Avenue Vault. Prior to that, the event was hosted at Jordan Creek Town Center.

Second, competitors might be giving it a little more to earn some extra coin. Athletes will be able to 'Leap For Loot' and 'Throw For Dough' to win an additional $9,000.

“For the Drake Relays this year, we’ve got a few new twists. We’re gonna do some things inside the stadium that should be pretty special,” said Brown.

In the women's long jump and men's triple jump, competitors will 'Leap For Loot' with an additional $1,500 being awarded to the top jumper in each of the event's six rounds. Combined with the existing purse money, $15,000 in total money is now up for grabs in each of the two events.

“Every round there will be money on the line. The one who jumps the farthest or throws the farthest is gonna win some loot,” said Brown.

The women's shot put field will have a similar structure as the field 'Throws For Dough.' The top mark in each of the event's six rounds will collect $1,500. Combined with the standard purse, the women's shot put field will also be competing for a total of $15,000 in available prize money.

The 2016 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee begins next week with action starting inside Drake Stadium on April 27 and continuing through April 30.