What's buzzing:

Jones returns to podium at Drake Relays

AP - Sports
Jones returns to podium at Drake Relays
.

View gallery

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Lolo Jones beamed as she took her victory lap, joyfully handing out autographs and high-fives for the kids crammed three-deep into the railings to get a brief glimpse of their hometown star.

It took six years and three fastER teammates, but Jones finally had another winner's bouquet to clutch at the Drake Relays.

Jones and teammates Bri Rollins, Queen Harrison and Vashti Thomas took the women's shuttle hurdle relay on Friday night.

It was the first meet victory for Jones - who went to high school mere miles from Drake Stadium - since she took the 100 hurdles in 2008.

''A win is always a win, so it doesn't matter if it was a really slow time or a really fast time. When you win, there's always that extra adrenaline you have,'' Jones said.

Jones hardly ran a clean race in her return to the track just two months after her stint as a bobsledder for the U.S. in the Sochi Olympics.

But it was clean enough to help beat a four-team field that saw one team fail to start and another fail to finish.

Jones stutter-stepped before her first hurdle, hitting in nine steps instead of the traditional seven. But Harrison's quick anchor leg helped the U.S. ''Red'' team beat Jamaica by just over a second.

''I made probably the biggest hurdle mistake you can make...for a 100-meter hurdle race, you're pretty much sitting in a coffin like 'the race is over,''' Jones said. ''So at that moment I crossed the line I was like, ''All right Queen! Let's go team, because if it was individual Lolo would be in last place.'''

On the men's side, LaShawn Merritt beat one of the best fields in the 105-year history of the Drake Relays by winning the 400 in 44.44.

Merritt, the world's No. 1 in the 400, bested London Olympics champion Kirani James, Luguelin Santos and others to claim the $25,000 winner's prize.

''It was one of the most serious races I've ever run this early in the season, with the field,'' Merritt said. ''I knew everybody was going to come prepared. I've been doing this for some time now, so the mental part was there. I'm feeling good.''

Derek Drouin stole the show in the men's high jump, shattering both the meet record and his own Canadian mark by clearing 7 feet, 10 1/2 inches on his final try.

Drouin's previous personal best was 7-9 3/4 at last year's world championships. But Drouin was pushed by strong performances from Erik Kynard and Dusty Jones, who each finished at 7-8 1/2.

''It was as good of a competition as you're going to find anywhere,'' Drouin said.

Jamaican Hansle Parchment was somewhat of a surprise winner in the men's 110 hurdles, winning in 13.14.

Michael Tinsley, the silver medalist in both London and at last season's world championships in Moscow, took the 400 hurdles in 48.57. Puerto Rico's Javier Culson was second in 48.68.

Cuban Yarisley Silva looked every bit the world's top women's pole vaulter, dominating the field to win in 15-3 1/2.

This might have been the first time in recent memory that Friday night's session of the Drake Relays featured more stars than Saturday's finale. But there should still be plenty to watch during the final day of competition.

The 100 hurdles won't have Jones. But it will have Rollins, the defending world champion, along with Harrison, Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kellie Wells.

American Chaunte Howard-Lowe and Brigetta Barrett, the silver medalist in London and Moscow, lead the field in the women's high jump.

Parchment, Andrew Riley will be among the elite hurdlers set to run the men's shuttle hurdle relay.

View Comments (0)
  • Mature fans accept end of India's World champion reign

    Mature fans accept end of India's World champion reign

    By Sudipto Ganguly MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's notoriously volatile fans showed rare maturity in accepting the end of their team's reign as world champions after Thursday's semi-final defeat against co-hosts Australia in Sydney. The defending … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks 4-1

    Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks 4-1

    Reto Berra waited a long time for another chance to start in the NHL. Berra made 33 saves, and Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night. Berra, … More »

    AP - Sports - 24 minutes ago
  • I was never concerned about my spot, says Australia's Finch

    I was never concerned about my spot, says Australia's Finch

    Australia opener Aaron Finch said he never feared for his place in the side during his lean spell at the World Cup and having found some runs will be raring to go in Sunday's final at his home ground. Finch hit an uncharacteristically scrappy 81 in … More »

    Reuters - 28 minutes ago
  • Landeskog, Tanguay lead the way as Canucks fall flat in loss to Avalanche

    Landeskog, Tanguay lead the way as Canucks fall flat in loss to Avalanche

    Eddie Lack sensed the Vancouver Canucks were ready for another big night in their push for a playoff spot. Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves in his first start in over four months as the … More »

    The Canadian Press - 51 minutes ago
  • Labor unions, developers reach agreement on Los Angeles-area NFL stadium

    (Reuters) - Labor leaders said on Thursday they had reached an agreement with developers of a proposed Los Angeles-area stadium project, which is backed by the billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams, that could become home for an NFL team. The Los … More »

    Reuters - 53 minutes ago