DES MOINES, Iowa – 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer leads a field that includes six Olympians set to race in the women's 400-meter hurdles Rio Olympic Rematch at the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Relays Blake Boldon announced Monday, April 2.
Spencer returns to Drake Stadium, where she won three titles on relays teams while competing for Illinois before earning a bronze medal at last summer's Olympic games. In addition to her newly minted bronze medal, she owns a personal best of 53.72 and was the 2016 World Indoor Championships silver medalist and a three-time NCAA champion at Illinois.
Spencer will face four other competitors that competed in Rio including Canadian Noelle Montcalm, who was a semifinalist in Rio as was Sparkle McKnight and Leah Nugent. Nugent, a Jamaican, was sixth in the Olympic finals. Kemi Adekoya, a native of Nigeria who competes for Bahrain, also joins the field to try her hand at the 400-meter hurdles. She is coming off a semifinal appearance in the 400 meters at the Rio Olympics and was a two-time Asian Games champion in the 400-meter hurdles.
A trio of the top American hurdlers complete the field including Relays regular, Georganne Moline. Moline, a three-time U.S. Championship runner-up placed fifth at the 2012 Olympics. Kori Carter finished fourth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and was 2015 World Championship semifinalist. A 2013 NCAA Champion at Stanford, she also owns the NCAA record of 53.21 in the event. Cassandra Tate finished just behind Carter at the U.S. Olympic Trials after winning a U.S. Championship in the event in 2015 and a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championship.
The women's 400-meter hurdles Rio Olympic Rematch is scheduled for 2:02 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at Drake Stadium. Tickets for all sessions of the 2017 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee are available through the Drake Athletic Ticket Office in person, by calling 515-271-3647 or visiting DrakeTix.com.