Drake Relays: Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner set for 400 meters
Written by ANDREW LOGUE
Apr. 7, 2011
Jeremy Wariner, the 27-year-old native of Irving, Texas, will run his second 400 meters of the outdoor season at Drake Stadium after debuting a week earlier at the Michael Johnson Invitational.
Aching knees prevented Jeremy Wariner from competing at last year’s Drake Relays.
This year, the three-time Olympic gold medalist should be hitting his stride when the 102nd running of Iowa’s premier track and field meet takes place April 26-30.
“I’m excited to come back,” Wariner said Wednesday. “It’s always been a great crowd. No matter how cold it is, they’re always out there.”
The 27-year-old native of Irving, Texas, will run his second 400 meters of the outdoor season at Drake Stadium after debuting a week earlier at the Michael Johnson Invitational.
“When me and coach (Clyde) Hart look at our schedule, we look at when the meets are and how training is going at the time,” Wariner said. “And what is the best week for me.”
Wariner spent the early part of 2010 recovering from knee surgery and a bone bruise, but emerged as the world’s premier active quarter-miler with a top time of 44.13 seconds.
“I just wasn’t ready to run (at Drake), so I waited a few more weeks to open up,” Wariner said. “Unfortunately, my season got off to a slow start. But I stayed positive and was able to come through, get my training where I needed it to be and start winning again.”
Wariner breezed to a victory at the 2009 Relays, crossing the finish line in 45.06 seconds.
He also has experienced narrow defeats at Drake, dating to his days as an NCAA champion for Baylor.
“I really want to go out there and win, and drop a good time,” Wariner said. “I’ve never run 44 (seconds) there. So that’s one thing I want to do.”
Wariner burst onto the international scene in 2004, winning an Olympic gold medal in the 400 and helping the United States triumph in the 4x400.
He earned a 400 silver at the 2008 Games, and helped the U.S. defend its relay title.
Wariner ran a personal-best 43.45 seconds in 2007. The Drake Stadium record of 44.41 was set by fellow Baylor alum Michael Johnson in 1996.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” Wariner said, “and just show what I have.”