Bulldogs compete at Missouri Valley Indoors

March 6, 2014 6:16 AMComments Off

Story by Taylor Soule

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track1file-w2000-h2000Drake men’s track and field senior Brogan Austin won the 3,000-meter title at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship on Sunday, a day after taking the 5,000-meter prize.

That performance earned Austin a co-Most Valuable Athlete nod alongside Northern Iowa’s Brandon Carnes, an honor Austin said he didn’t see coming.

“That was pretty cool,” Austin said. “I wasn’t expecting that. That was a cool accolade.”

Drake head coach Dan Hostager said Austin’s “relentless” mindset helped him cross the line first against a talented MVC field.

“Brogan had an outstanding weekend,” Hostager said in an email. “The distance races were as deep and as talented as I’ve ever seen them, so to come out of there with two titles and a MVC meet record was impressive. He nearly had the record in the 3,000 meters as well, as he missed it by three seconds. The MVC has produced a lot of NCAA All-Americans over the years, so it really speaks to how impressive those two races were. With his current fitness level and Brogan’s closing speed, we had expected him to be able to pull off the double, but there’s so many variables that you never know what’s going to happen when the field is that talented. More importantly, Brogan expected to pull it off, so he was relentless.”

Austin finished the 3,000 meters in a time of four minutes, 19.93 seconds. He claimed the 5,000-meter title with a time of 14:37.67.

Before Sunday’s winning race, Hostager didn’t have to give Austin a pep talk. As usual, the senior relied on his trademark intensity.

“Brogan is a pretty fierce competitor so there’s no need to really talk to him right before the race,” Hostager said.

Austin knew he was at the top of the field going into the race.

“Going into the meet, I was ranked 22, and there was a kid ranked 21st,” Austin said. “I’ve got a pretty good kick compared to everybody else, so I just had to stay with it.”

Austin isn’t ready to end his title run yet, though. He said there are a couple more things he’d like to accomplish in his final season as a Bulldog.

“The one thing I’m missing is All-American,” Austin said. “I just have to qualify for Nationals. Maybe, get a couple more records.”

In other Drake men’s action, Steven Jordan claimed the title of men’s Elite 18 winner. The junior earned the honor for having the highest cumulative GPA. It’s awarded at the finals site each of the Valley’s 18 team championships.

In Drake women’s track and field action, senior Kayla Bell recorded the top finish with a sixth-place mark in the triple jump. Bell recorded 38 feet, 7.75 inches.

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