Photo: Connor McCourtney
The Drake track and field programs hit their strides in front of the hometown crowd as they hosted the Jim Duncan Invitational over the weekend.
The duo of sophomore Kevin Harp and freshman Phillip Beeler braved the elements last Friday evening to finish first and second, respectively, in the javelin. Harp won with a throw of 185 feet, 10 inches and Beeler took home second place with a toss of 173 feet, 6 inches.
Freshman Brogan Austin ran away from the competition in the 5,000-meter during cold and rainy conditions with a time of 14 minutes, 58.13 seconds, over 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Sophomore Dan Karys soared past the competition in the triple jump for a title in the event for the second straight weekend. Karys’ jump of 46 feet, 5 1/2 inches was his second best mark of the season. Karys also placed second in the long jump after a leap of 23 feet, 4 3/4 inches, a personal best.
“It was tough for him in the jumps as it was hard to judge the wind,” head coach Natasha Brown said. “He did a nice job today, and it was nice to see that his long jump is improving.”
Junior Matt Jurysta placed third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:57.48.
The Drake women’s team produced five champions over the course of the weekend.
Sophomore Marissa Smith won the 100-meter hurdles crown with a time of 14.73 seconds. Fellow sophomore Sarah Yeager crossed the finish line in third place with a time of 14.81 seconds.
Senior Casey McDermott won the 1,500-meter run to win her second event in as many weeks. McDermott crossed the finish line at 4:42.19
Senior Beth Hamling dominated the sprinting events last Saturday with a third-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.48 seconds, and then she won the 200-meter dash later in the afternoon when she crossed the finish line in 26.13 seconds.
“Beth ran a solid 100 to open up the meet,” Brown said. “She came back and had a strong 200.”
The Bulldogs got a victory in the pole vault when senior Johanna Sprang cleared a height of 10 feet, 4 inches.
The team of senior Cambria Pardner, freshman Tiara Winston, Smith and Yeager ran a perfectly executed 4-by-100-meter relay to take the title in 48.59 seconds.
Drake had a trio of runners finish in the top five during the 800-meter run. Senior Kara McCartney led the Bulldogs with a second-place finish in 2:14.53. McDermott crossed the finish line less than a second later to finish third with a time of 2:15.12, and junior Kirsten Lake’s time of 2:17.32 earned her fifth place.
The Bulldogs return to action at the Musco Twilight meet in Iowa City this weekend.