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Chilled Out

The Drake softball team was scheduled to play a doubleheader at Bradley last Saturday before wrapping up the three-game set on Sunday, but due to cold weather, Saturday’s games were canceled. The Bulldogs played their scheduled game yesterday and will take on the Braves in another game today. Drake returns home for a quick turnaround with a doubleheader against South Dakota State tomorrow. The Bulldogs started out Missouri Valley play with a three-game sweep over Indiana State on March 19 and 20 and are riding a five-game winning streak. Drake is 15-11 on the season.

Curtis Nationally Ranked

Drake senior track and field member Ari Curtis was tabbed No. 20 in the 400-meter run and No. 38 in the heptathlon according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason computer rankings. The national recognition comes just before Drake opens the outdoor season this Saturday. The rankings are nothing new to Curtis, who finished 10th in the 400 last year at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She is the school record holder in both events, recording a time of 57.89 seconds in the 400 last year at the championships, and tallying 4,998 points in the heptathlon last season at the Kansas Relays.

DeGrave, Too

In the same USTFCCCA poll, Drake junior Jon DeGrave is ranked 30th in the 400-meter hurdles heading into the outdoor season. This is the first career national ranking for DeGrave, who won the event at the 2010 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 51.27 seconds. For his efforts, he was honored as the MVC Outstanding Men’s Track Athlete for the meet. During the 2011 indoor season, DeGrave captured another MVC title in the 400-meter run and crossed the finish line second in the 200. DeGrave and the rest of both Bulldog track teams will open up the outdoor season this Saturday, with most of the top runners headed to the Razorback Spring Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark.

Women’s Golf Heads to Carbondale

The Drake women’s golf team began the 14-team Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill., yesterday with the tournament wrapping up today. The two-day event is hosted by Southern Illinois at the Hickory Ridge Golf Course. Last season, the Bulldogs lost the team title by just one stroke after winning the tournament in 2009. Senior Michelle Mathwick finished 12th among individuals last year. Drake looks to bounce back from its 11th place finish at the Jackrabbit Invitational two weeks ago, and hopes to fine-tune its skills in time for the State Farm MVC Championship on April 22 and 23.

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