PV Spartans take on the Blue Oval


The PV boys and girls had a weekend full of season records at the drake relays. This weekend was a great preparation for these athletes that will compete at state in the coming weeks.

Caroline Corcoran, Multimedia Manager

This past weekend, the Pleasant Valley girls’ and boys’ track and field teams made their mark at the Drake Relays. With personal records made across many different events, the Spartans used this opportunity to push themselves against other top athletes in the state, proving them a force to be reckoned with. 

Drake Relays, a prestigious track and field event, only allows the best athletes across all classes to qualify to compete. This elevates the competition as top performers in every class warm up, cheer on and contend in the same vicinity as collegiate, professional and olympic athletes from around the world. 

With PV’s boys qualifying in eight events and the girls qualifying in eleven events, the Spartan Track and Field teams had plenty of opportunities to race amongst the top teams in a professional and elite environment. 

The weekend started off with a blast when senior Luke Knepp pushed himself to over a 40 second lifetime PR and set a new school record of 9:10.92 minutes in the 3200m high school event, placing third. 

”Having thousands of fans around the track cheering me on made me want to compete,” shared Knepp, overjoyed with his result. “The Drake Relays mean a lot to me and our team. Being able to qualify is tough and it makes the team really cheer each other on to hit the time standards leading up to Drake.” 

This was Knepp’s first time competing at the Drake relays and he felt that the support he received leading up to the relays and while competing allowed him to push himself to the next level.  

The boys team held that momentum on Saturday when the boys’ shuttle hurdle team placed second with a new school record of 58.66 seconds. Senior Makhi Wilson was a part of the runner up shuttle hurdle team and also qualified as an individual for the boys’ high hurdles. “Drake was an opportunity to get great competition before state. As a team, we did great, but we still have things to improve on for state,” said Wilson. 

They executed a great run at Drake, growing confident that they will continue to grow between now and the State meet approaching in the next few weeks.

The Lady Spartans also have a lot to be proud of as they placed in four of the events and had season records in almost every event at Drake. 

Senior Lydia Sommer competed at Drake for her third year this past weekend. Marking the start of championship season, the Drake Relays motivate Sommer to push herself to new limits. “Drake is an opportunity to compete against the best in the state, take risks and bond with the team,” stated Sommer. Sommer had personal records in both the 3000 meter run and the elite mile run, continuing her streak of getting a new PR every race this season.

The team spent the weekend together in Des Moines and were always found cheering loudly for their team from the stands. The unity of the team is a strong part of what makes this team so great.

Girls’ track and field coach Madi Glatz took note of the correlation between accomplishments this weekend and the team bond. “This past weekend showed just how special this team is. Even though this is only my third year I feel like this team has a really strong bond that continues to strengthen throughout this season as they still have so much potential left,” said Glatz.

The environment at Drake is unmatched and as athletes continue to bond and support each other, they grow more confident in their ability to compete. “Drake always brings out the drive and competitiveness in our team as they support one another,” Glatz added. 

The prestige of Drake leads to a lot of excitement leading up to the relays as athletes have to run a time that places them amongst the top athletes in their event. As athletes cheer each other on leading up to Drake and at the event, this support strengthens athletes’ confidence and they push themselves to do things that surpass expectations. 

The Pleasant Valley Track and Field athletes saw their hard work pay off this weekend. As they continue on their road to state, there are many great things to come as these athletes are always hungry for more and willing to take risks knowing they have the support of their team.