As a new track season is well under way, dreams of competing on the blue oval at Drake Stadium are very much on the minds of high school runners, jumpers, and throwers. A few ACGC athletes could make their path to the annual relays a little easier with automatic qualifications. Seniors Clay Billheimer and Madison McDermott and junior Kate Crawford are among the Chargers with personal bests near the “Blue Standards”.

Billheimer, who represented the gold and black last year in the state meet at Drake, is just 3.5 seconds from reaching the standard for the 800 meter run. His personal best is 1:59.81 and the standard is 1:56.30. His personal best in the 1600 meter run is also less than seven seconds slower than the qualifying standard. An ACGC male athlete has yet to qualify for the Relays.

The two representatives from last year’s girls squad are strong candidates to return this season. Both Crawford and McDermott finished 16th at the Relays in the 3,000 meter run and shot put respectively. Crawford has already posted a personal best below the standard in the 3,000, but she’ll have to post a time below 10:30.00 at a sanctioned meet this year to receive the automatic qualification. Her personal best is 10:26.89, which she posted at the state meet last May. The junior is also less than three seconds off the standard in the 1500.

As for McDermott, she is just over 3.5 and 9.5 feet from the standard in the shot put and discus respectively. Athletes can still receive entry into the annual Relays without hitting the standard. The 2019 Drake Relays are scheduled for April 24-27.