Sprinter wraps up Drake Relays for men’s track, field

ISU junior Derek Jones receives the baton during the 4×400-meter at Drake Relays on April 29.

Allison Walters

Sprinter Derek Jones wrapped put he Drake Relays for the men’s track and field team Saturday in the 400-meter hurdles.

After a fifth place overall finish with a time of 51.98, Jones was off of his all-time personal best by .95 seconds that he set in the 2014 outdoor season. Despite a finishing time that did not impress Jones, he cut his time from last year’s drake Relays by 1.8 seconds and shifted from a 16th place finish overall in the 400-meter hurdles to a fifth place spot. 

“It was a little disappointing,” Jones said. “But it was still fun.”

A slew of unfortunate weather conditions were used as a handicap to Jones’ performance. Jones said his coaches considered pulling him out of today’s competition due to the conditions and having him compete at a Nebraska meet next weekend. 

“I hate putting handicaps on stuff,” Jones said. “I would have liked to just compete better. It’s nothing to shake my head at too much. I really want to get a good couple weeks of training in before the Big 12’s.”

After last season, one that Jones refers to as a  “slump year,” the junior has seen a major improvement this season.

“It’s head and shoulders better.” Jones said. “I don’t know if it was mental motivation or physical, but this year has been a lot better. I’m thankful.”

Edward Kemboi, a former Cyclone and native of Kenya, was welcomed back to the blue turf at Drake Stadium on Saturday. The unattached runner competed in the 800-meter special and finished with a time of 1:48.81 in seventh place. After his race, Kemboi was spotted sporting ISU apparel.