updated 4/27/2011 10:17:04 AM ET 2011-04-27T14:17:04

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- From Thursday through Saturday, the Drake Relays will offer athletes the opportunity to compete in one of the nation's oldest and most respected track and field competitions. This year's 102nd annual contest will bring together more than 6,000 top-caliber performers from elementary, high school, collegiate, elite and masters levels, and all will take their marks on a Mondo Super X Performance track.

This year marks the fifth time that Drake Relays participants will compete on the Mondo Super X Performance track, which is recognized around the world as one of the fastest, most durable and environmentally safest tracks available. Since the Mondo track was installed at renowned Drake Stadium in 2006 as part of a $15 million renovation, numerous meet and venue records have been set, including 18 Drake Relays records in 2010. This year's competition will feature 115 events and Drake University, which hosts the event, expects another sellout crowd.

"The Drake Relays are known as one of the largest and most visible competitions in the U.S., and Drake Stadium's Mondo Super X Performance track can help produce stellar performances," said Carolyn Hill, assistant director, Drake Relays.

"Our high school competitors especially get excited about running on the Mondo track because they always have fast times and perform well," said Hill, who works closely with the Relays' scholastic athletes.

Drake University has been selected to host the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and it will host the combined Iowa boys and girls state high school track and field championship in May, one of the largest high school meets in the country.

Notable athletes scheduled to compete at this year's Relays include Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner in the 400 meters; Olympian and world champion Lolo Jones in the 100-meter hurdles; and Alan Webb in the mile. The women's 1500-meter event is scheduled to include distinguished runners such as Sarah Bowman, Lauren Hagans, Jenny Barringer Simpson and Amy Mortimer.

Manufactured by Mondo, the global leader in the sports flooring market, the Super X Performance track has been installed at more than 1,100 venues globally and was used in the eight Olympic Games prior to Beijing. (Mondo's newest track surface, Mondotrack, was the official track of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will be the track of the 2012 London Olympics.)

Super X Performance was developed to maintain its initial physical properties throughout its life, so it provides consistent performance. The vulcanized natural rubber surface provides maximum elasticity and unparalleled durability, and its embossed, textured finish makes it extremely easy to maintain with no resurfacing required. This high-performance track is renowned for its shock absorption and optimal energy return, and its ideal blend of speed and comfort minimizes the occurrence of injuries during both training and high-level competition.

About Drake University

Founded in 1881, Drake University is home to approximately 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked among the top universities for educational quality, student achievement and educational value. Drake athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and the Pioneer Football League.

The campus is home to Drake Stadium, a 14,557-seat venue that hosts several major annual events each year, including the Drake Relays and the Iowa High School Boys and Girls State track championships. Among the track and field legends who have competed at the stadium are Bruce Jenner, Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Ralph Metcalfe, Al Oerter, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Frank Shorter, Gwen Torrence and Jeremy Wariner.

About Mondo

Mondo is the global leader in the sports and contract flooring markets, manufacturing flooring surfaces for virtually every application. More than 1,100 Mondo tracks and 800 Mondo artificial turf fields are installed worldwide. The official supplier of the athletic track for the past nine Olympic Games and the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, Mondo also is the official supplier or official sponsor of more than 100 sports federations and associations.

The company supplies a wide variety of commercial flooring, and it is the world's largest producer of sports and toy balls with an average daily production of 450,000 units. In addition, it manufactures large luxury yachts under its Mondo Marine division.

A family-owned business since its founding in 1948, Mondo sells its products in more than 196 countries. The company's global headquarters are in Italy, and it has manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. More information about Mondo is available at www.mondoworldwide.com .         

The Mondo logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5765

Mondo is a registered trademark of Mondo.

CONTACT: Glynis Gibson
         Gibson Communications, Inc.
         773.278.7700
         glynis.gibson@gibsoncommunications.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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