Road To The Olympic Games

Canada's Derek Drouin wins 4th straight Drake Relays title

Canada's Derek Drouin won the men's high jump Saturday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, for the fourth straight year.

Teammate Mike Mason finishes 2nd behind Drouin

Canada's Derek Drouin, pictured above at the Rio Olympics, won his fourth consecutive high jump title at the Drake Relays on Saturday. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Canadian Derek Drouin once again proved that he's one of the best high jumpers in the world, winning the event at the Drake Relays on Saturday.

Drouin, from Corunna, Ont., won high jump gold at the Rio Olympics last summer. On Saturday, he cleared 2.30 metres while countryman Mike Mason of New Westminster, B.C., placed second after making a jump of 2.27. Django Lovett of Surrey, B.C., made a jump of 2.23 metres.

It is Drouin's fourth-straight Drake high jump title.

Harrison cruised to victory in the women's 100-metre hurdles Saturday at the Drake Relays. She won in a world-leading 12.56 seconds despite rain, cold and wind and a field featuring six other hurdlers ranked in the world's top 10.

Harrison ran a 12.54 this year, but that was wind-aided.

"My coach just told me 'You know, you missed the Olympic finals. So treat each race this year as an Olympic final. So I just want to come out and really see how far I can go and prove to myself and everyone else that I can run in big meets," Harrison said.

Jasmin Stowers of the U.S. was second in 12.76. Dawn Harper-Nelson, an American who won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver four years later, was third in 12.79.

Harrison, a former star at Kentucky, finished sixth with a trip to the Rio Games on the line last year. But last July she broke a record that stood for 28 years, running a 12.20 in a Diamond League event in London.

The track world has been watching Harrison since. On her agenda for 2017 is a return to London, site of this year's world championships, and a shot at the world title that eluded her in Rio.

"It builds my confidence. I just tell myself 'You're the world record holder. You're really blessed in this event,"' Harrison said. "That's my number one goal, to go get gold in London."

Because of the miserable conditions — temperatures were in the low 40s with strong gusts and rain that at times fell sideways — just a single meet record fell in the elite races.

That mark went to Jamaica's Omar McLeod, who ran a Drake-best 13.04 to win the men's 110 hurdles.

"It's cold. But once you come out here and see the crowd...it takes away from that," McLeod said.

In the women's 400 hurdles, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ashley Spencer stumbled into the fifth hurdle after her hip locked. Spencer fell and failed to finish, and fellow American Georganne Moline won in a world-leading 54.66.

Spencer said she lost feeling in her feet and hands after 150 metres, just before taking her tumble.

"I was running on a whim and a prayer," Spencer said.

Clayton Murphy won the men's 1,500 in 3:41.75 — his third victory in a week. Murphy also won in the 4x800 at the World Relays in the Bahamas and the USA Track and Field mile road track title in Des Moines on Tuesday.

With files from CBC Sports

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