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Minnesota bulldog crowned mascot of the 2022 Drake Relays

Bam Bam dominated the costume contest to win the prestigious position, representing one of the longest-running track events in the country.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Bulldogs aren't the most sleek, agile creatures on the face of the earth, so it makes one wonder why the bulky breed was chosen as mascot for a prestigious track events in the country.

What is not up for debate... is that a Twin Cities bulldog is now official mascot for the 2022 Drake Relays after winning the 43rd Annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake University Monday. 

Bam Bam is a 5-year-old from Champlin, Minnesota whose owner Maggie Estby is a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo. Organizers of the contest say he won judges over with his amazing costume channeling Russell the boy scout from the movie "Up." 

Estby dressed up as Russell's reluctant mentor Carl Fredricksen. 

“He loves people, he loves chewing bones, he loves going for short walks, he loves to sunbathe, he loves to cuddle,” Estby shared while describing what makes Bam Bam tick. The American Bulldog turned back 29 competitors to claim the crown of Drake Relays mascot.   

Credit: Drake University
Bam Bam the American Bulldog gives owner Maggie Estby a high five after being crowned winner of the 2022 Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake University.

The Drake Relays are an annual four-day track meet that unfolds over the last weekend each April, bringing top high school, college and elite track clubs to Des Moines. This year marks the 112th year for the event. 

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