Barnes qualifies for Olympics at Drake Relays


Will Barnes on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.

Samantha Lough

Two seniors dominated the track at the Drake Relays this weekend in Iowa. With a time of 13.41, senior William Barnes hit the Olympic standard in the 110-meter hurdles and took second in the race. Senior Jackie Leppelmeier was the only thrower to capture a first place finish, with a hammer throw score of 194.

Hitting the Olympic standard of 13.52 qualifies Barnes for the Summer 2016 Olympics. Both Barnes and Leppelmeier have trained hard to reach their recent achievements. 

“(Leppelmeier) is a fighter,” said Nathan Fanger, throws associate head coach. “(Through) pouring rain, cold conditions, her knee was sore and her back is always sore, but she fights and she wins.”

Leppelmeier set the school record last year in the hammer throw and proved herself worthy of the record this weekend.

Breaking the Olympic standard has been Barnes’ goal all season. Despite reaching his goal, though, he’s not completely satisfied.

“(It) can only get better from here,” he said.

Barnes would like to run for Puerto Rico because of his dual citizenshipand in honor of his late mother. He believes he would be able to contribute immediately on their team. 

The next meet for the Flashes will be at the Akron Campbell Wright Open May 6 and 7th.

Samantha Lough is a sports reporter for the Kent Stater. For more information contact her at [email protected].