Merritt cruises to 400-meter win at Drake Relays

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) LaShawn Merritt held off Rio relay teammate Tony McQuay and 2012 silver medalist Kirani James of Grenada to win the men's 400 Friday at the Drake Relays.

Merritt came in first in 45.41 seconds. McQuay was third at 45.89 and James, the 400 winner at the London Games in 2008, was sixth in 46.21.

Native Iowan Jenny Simpson won the women's 1,500 in 4:16.10 - just three-tenths of a second ahead of Brenda Martinez. The next six finishers were within 2 seconds of Simpson, who won bronze in Rio and took first at Drake for the fifth year in a row.

The men's 400-meter hurdles went to former Kansas star Michael Stigler - whose goal of making the Olympics was derailed when he injured his right hamstring last summer - in an impressive 49.07.

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