DES MOINES, Iowa – A trio of Carleton College racers took part in the 10,000-meter run at the 103rd running of the Drake Relays. All-American Simone Childs-Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) was the top Division III racer and finished fifth overall. Classmate Alison Smyth (Billings, Mont./Billings West) placed 12th, and Taylor Ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy) crossed the line 25th.
This was the third consecutive year that Childs-Walker posted a top-5 finishing time. Her mark of 35:40.87 ranks fourth in NCAA Division III at this time and puts her in a good spot to receive a bid to nationals. Obsie Birru from Grand View University—a NAIA institution—won the event for the second time (also 2010), doing so this time in 34:50.97. Next across the line was Morgan Place (35:05.94) from D-II Minnesota-Duluth followed by a pair of racers from D-I Western Michigan and then Childs-Walker.
The field totaled 27 racers, with each needing to meet qualifying standards. This year, Childs-Walker finished ahead of eight NCAA Division I participants as well as one from a Division II program, a dozen others from Division III schools, and a NAIA student-athlete.
This was the first time Smyth and Ffitch ran the 10K on the famous blue oval at Drake Stadium. Smyth finished with a time of 36:22.73 while Ffitch concluded her race at 37:39.34.
On Saturday, the final day of racing at the Drake Relays, Carleton placed its 4x800-meter relay ninth out of 19 entries. Clare Franco (Sr./Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick), Haley Johnson (Jr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper), Sarah Trautman (So./Lexington, Mass./BBN) and Kaitlin Randolph (Sr./Drummond, Wis./Drummond) combined on a time of 9:29.042.
The Knights beat Central Oklahoma, a NCAA Division II program, by 0.05 seconds. In fact Carleton bested six of the eight D-II entries in the event.