The Drake Relays bring in athletes from all over the world, but even some of our own Bulldogs come from faraway places. Junior Taryn Rolle comes all the way from Nassau in New Providence, located in the Bahamas.
Rolle found out about Drake from her jumps coach in high school, who went to school with the current co-head coach of the track and field team at Drake University. Being a smaller sized school that still had a D1 track and field team, Rolle found Drake to be the perfect fit.
Abstaining from comparing herself to the competition is hard, especially for jumpers, where you watch everyone that goes before and after you, says Rolle. It becomes hard to see watch competitors and not get stressed out about your own performance.
Preparing for Drake Relays his year has been a little different than past years. With a new coach comes new practices, new warm ups, new drills, and much heavier weights to be lifted, says Rolle. The teams collective goal this year is to stay hydrated, a practice that the new coach says will help improve overall performance. Having suffered from multiple injuries last year, Rolle hopes that these new strategies will help keep her healthy this season.
The crowd that the Drake Relays attracts is one of Rolle’s favorite aspects of the events. When they aren’t scared away by the weather, she says that the crowd is always cheering, supportive, and full of energy. Having her family in the stands helps with the excitement as well.
The Drake Relays start on Wednesday, April 26 with the men’s decathlon, the women’s heptathlon, and the vaulting at Capital Square. For more information, visit Drake University’s athletics website. To sit in on one of Taryn’s practices and for details on how she’s preparing for relays check out the video below.