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Curtis continues hot streak, adds another title

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The men’s and women’s track and field teams had impressive finishes at the Jayhawk Classic last Friday.

Senior Ari Curtis continued her hot start to the 2011 track and field season with a victory in the women’s pentathlon with a score of 3,638 points. The pentathlon consists of the high jump, long jump, shot put, 60-meter hurdles and an 800-meter run. Curtis finished in the top five of all the events and won the long jump with a jump of 18 feet, 4.25 inches and the 800-meter with a time of 2 minutes, 21.27 seconds, winning by over 20 seconds.

Sophomore Marissa Smith’s time of 8.84 seconds was good enough to take home the title in the women’s 60-meter hurdles.

Senior Tyse Samani beat the competition by over an inch in the high jump with a final leap of 5 feet, 7 inches.

Senior Casey McDermott finished in a close second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.44.  McDermott was followed across the finish line by senior Katie Coomer, who ran a time of 2:18.21 and senior Kara McCartney who finished in 2:18.35.

Sophomore Whitney Westrum ditched her volleyball knee pads and put on a pair of track spikes for the first time in her collegiate career. Westrum finished 10th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.40.

“(Westrum) was a little flat in the 60-meter dash, most likely due to her nerves,” head coach Natasha Brown said in a Drake athletics press release. “But her time in the 200 was good, as she won her heat by a lot.”

Senior Beth Hamling finished second in the 200-meter with a time of 25.41.

The men’s track and field team also had a solid performance in Lawrence, Kan., on Friday.

Junior Jon DeGrave opened his 400-meter indoor season with a second-place finish with a time of 49.15.

“Jon opened up strong with his first 400-meter race of the season,” Brown said. “He proved he is on the edge of running a great race.”

The Bulldogs distance medley team came in third after running a time of 10:28.30. The team was made up of freshmen Doug Brady and Max Johnson, senior Brandon Lewis and junior Matt Jurysta.

In their individual races, Brady and Johnson finished third and fifth, respectively, in the 1,000-meter.

Sophomore Isaac Twombly wasn’t able to repeat his record-setting throw of 56 feet in the weighted toss, but still finished 11th after a toss of 50 feet, 4 inches. Freshman Andy Curtis had a toss of 43 feet, 3.75 inches, which puts him third in the school record books.

Brown was satisfied with both teams’ performances on Friday.

“This is the time of the season when we start racing our true events,” Brown said. “We have been competing in shorter or longer races to prepare for our main events.”

Both teams will be traveling to Lincoln, Neb., this weekend to compete in the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational. Action will get underway this Friday.

WOMEN
Ari Curtis:  pentathlon, first (3,638 points)
*Won the long jump and the 800-meter sections
Tyse Samani:  high jump, first (5 feet, 7 inches)
Marissa Smith:  60-meter high hurdles, first (8.84 seconds)
Casey McDermott:  800-meter run, second (2:15.44)
Beth Hamling:  200-meter dash, second (25.41 seconds)
Celia Venezia:  1000-meter, second (3:16.19)

MEN
Jon DeGrave:  400-meter, second (49.15 seconds)
Doug Brady:  1000-meter, third (2:35.52)
Brandon Lewis:  800-meter, eighth (1:59.33)
Doug Brady, Max Johnson, Brandon Lewis, Matt Jurysta:  distance medley relay, third (10:28.30)

(Compiled by Matt Moran)

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