Alan Webb returns to Drake

Alan Webb celebrates with fans at the 2007 Drake Relays after setting a Relays record of 3:51.71 in the invitational mile. Webb returns to compete at Drake next Saturday. (Gazette file photo)

Alan Webb celebrates with fans at the 2007 Drake Relays after setting a Relays record of 3:51.71 in the invitational mile. Webb returns to compete at Drake next Saturday. (Gazette file photo)

DES MOINES — Be yourself, Alan Webb tells himself.

“Last year, I was trying to be Superman, and I ended up getting nothing out of it,” said Webb, who returns to the Drake Relays next week to compete in the invitational mile. “I learned a lot last year. It wasn’t the most fun year I’ve had in my career. I didn’t ever get into the groove of competing.”

Slowed by injuries, Webb failed to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team, finishing fifth in the 1,500-meter trials.

He withdrew from Drake, saying, “My training hasn’t progressed to where I feel I can deliver the type of performance that I would like  … I hope to be able to make up for it and come back next year.”

Next year is here. And fans hope Webb, 26, can duplicate his 2007 magic — a Drake-record 3:51.71 mile that ranked No. 1 on an active Drake Relays poll as the most memorable highlight in the event’s first 99 years.

“He completely lit up the blue oval,” said Drake Relays director Brian Brown.

Webb isn’t focusing on a time goal.

“I’m focusing on running a good race,” he said. “If I’m rolling, I won’t hesitate to push things.”

About 40 Olympians will compete next week.

“It’s definitely inspiring to be in the company of greatness,” Webb said. “I’ll soak up the nostalgia, but I’ll focused on my own race.”

The invitational mile field also includes Pablo Solares (the Mexican national record holder in the 800 and 1,500), Chris Lukezic (personal best of 3:54.46), Moise Joseph of Haiti, Steve Sherer (third in the 2008 and 2009 U.S. Indoor championships), Pete van der Weshuizen of South Africa and Adam Perkins (fourth in the 1,500 at the 2005 NCAA meet).

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One Response to “Alan Webb returns to Drake”

  1. Alan Webb returns to Drake | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

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