ONLINE EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE BY KATHERINE BAUER
Rob McCann came away from the Blue Oval this morning with a rare Bulldog win at the Drake Relays in the 3000-meter steeplechase after finishing in 8:49.14.
“I’m trying to keep myself in check primarily because A. it hasn’t sunk in and B. I’ve got a pretty long season,” the junior said. “This is a nice bonus for midway through the season.”
While Bulldogs do not typically get wins at Relays, it has happened before during McCann’s time at Drake. During his freshman year, he saw Brogan Austin come away with the win in the 5000-mter.
“Seeing him win it was pretty inspirational, and I think now we have a lot of momentum with him and now me,” McCann said, “and we have some good distance runners coming in next year.”
“I know Reed Fischer is going to take a shot at it next year. While it’s nice, I don’t think it will be unusual for the future.”
Although his performance was quite impressive, McCann said it may take some time for the significance to sink in.
“Maybe I’ll sit down tonight with a big plate of ribs and somewhere between a mouthful of ribs it’ll probably sink in that I did it,” McCann said.
This afternoon, Emma Huston represented the Bulldogs well in the 1500-meter, coming in second at 4:23.13. Huston was neck and neck with Wichita State’s Rebekah Topham coming down the home stretch. Huston finished just .04 seconds behind Topham.
Huston was fighting against not only a prestigious field but also the drizzly weather and a cold.
“I think you kind of have to keep the same strategy no matter what the weather,” Huston said. “But it’s always kind of refreshing to have a little drizzle coming down. (Getting sick) was kind of a bummer. It shook my confidence a little bit before coming in here.”
Huston came into Relays after breaking Drake’s record in the 1500-meter at the Musco Twilight last weekend.
“It was definitely a confidence booster. I really wanted to win (today), and I really pushed it but it was quite enough but that’s okay.”
Another Bulldog came close to a first place finish today. Pierce Vincent ran in the 100-meter to place second in 10.46.
“I came up a little short, but that’s okay,” Vincent said. “Really I’m just thankful and enjoyed the experience. I tried to make the most out of it.”
Vincent was .18 seconds behind the competitor from Northern Iowa. The big competition that comes with meets like the Drake Relays has never given Pierce any trouble.
“I love competition,” the senior said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. I’ll race against anybody.”
Vincent is looking to finish out the year by making it to Nationals. His preliminary time yesterday of 10.26 in the 100-meter may have moved him up in the regional rankings.
Junior Bas Van Leersum rounded out the top 10 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 52.52. Teammate Hudson Priebe came in thirteenth less than half a second later.
The Bulldogs continue their season next weekend with a variety of meets in Arkansas, Nebraska and Oregon.