For those walking into their local Waukee Hy Vee to get fresh produce and groceries may have found it to be a difficult task on Mondy night.
Hy Vee in Waukee was hosting an unusual event for a grocery store on Monday night. Customers walking into Hy Vee saw world-class and former oylmpic athletes competing in the High Jump at Hy Vee competition right in the middle of the produce section as part of the Drake Relays, which begin on Wednesday.
Sharon Day-Monroe, Levern Spencer, Chaunte Lowe, Brigetta Barrett and Inika McPherson were the women who competed at the event and Trevor Barry, Donald Thomas, Dusty Jonas, Derek Drouin and Erik Kynard were the men who competed in the event.
McPherson and Kynard were the winners of the competition.
The produce section of Hy Vee was full of spectators in seats in front of the jumping bar while the rail along the outside of the produce section near the deli was packed with other spectators.
“It was an amazing atmosphere. They [the crowd] were very supportive and energetic,” McPherson said in a press release. “It got me hyped and ready to jump. I loved it.”
While each jumper was preparing, music that they chose blasted through the speakers. Music included LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It,” as well as many more.
The jumpers got the fans pumped and clapping along to the music before each jump.
“The fans were so awesome,” said Brigetta Barrett in a press release, one of the night’s many premier athletes. “To see how many fans who had never seen a high jump competition before be so engaged for more than an hour shows that people love events like this.”
Darin Hirl, director of event marketing at Hy Vee, said the idea for the event came about because Brian Brown, the Drake Relays director, is in the Waukee Hy Vee “a lot.”
“He’s just walking it off one night thinking ‘you know, if we moved a little bit of produce out of the way, couldn’t we have a high jump in here,’” Hirl said. “Then when we actually got serious about it, then we sat down and said ‘enough of the fixtures are able to move around,’ and we were able to clear 4,600 feet for Brian and his crew to come in and set up with.”
Hirl said he though the event was going “great” with all of the fans that showed up.
“Probably more than anything, they were curious to see from all the buzz this week and last week about this high jump in a produce aisle,” Hirl said. “Very impressed with how much of the community showed up to cheer on the opening day of the Drake Relays.”
As far as the event happening at Hy Vee again in the future, Hirl said that they would talk about that after the event and get feedback from Hy Vee employees and Drake.
“I’d love to see it continue,” Hirl said.