April 26, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa -- -
Southern Miss senior Ashley Reyer grabbed the first-day lead in the Drake Relays heptathlon and then held on with a strong second day here, Thursday, finishing with 5,217 points and winning the 98th Annual Drake Relays heptathlon crown.
"Knowing the weather would be bad, I had to mentally prepare myself to perform at my best," Reyer said. "After my disappointing high jump performance, I had to draw on my senior maturity to refocus. I'm at a loss for words and can't stop smiling. It means so much to be a Drake Relay champion."
Reyer did not win an event the first day, but remained near the top in each of the first four events to stay on pace. Following what she calls a "disastrous high jump performance," Reyer finished strong in the shot put and 200 meters to take over the lead. She finished third in the shot with a throw of 35'00.5" and ran 25.12 to finish second in the 200 meters.
"It started off rough....I didn't have a strong hurdle race and my high jump was a disaster," said Reyer. "I had to get focused and take one event at a time. My 200 was awesome and I walked away with a smile on my face. I'm a better second-day performer. I thought I would be okay."
Reyer opened the second day by winning the long jump with a jump of 18'5.75" for 738 points. She then followed with a throw of 119'7" in the javelin for 600 points with her best event to come.
Reyer turned in a time of 2:15.67 in the 800 meters, besting the next runner by 3.55 seconds and adding 883 points to her total. She finished the combined event with 5,217 points, some 303 points ahead of the second place finisher, Kaela Rorvig of Missouri.