DeGrave triumphs in 400-meter final to earn lone title for Drake
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams finished in sixth place at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend and had several impressive individual performances.
Junior Jon DeGrave sparked the Bulldogs with a dominant victory in the men’s 400-meter. DeGrave’s time of 48.57 seconds beat the rest of the competition by nearly four-tenths of a second.
“It was Jon understanding that if he could get in the 48 [seconds] range, he could win the race,” head coach Natasha Brown said. “It was him being a gutsy athlete and came down to the last 50 meters with him powering through and getting tall to the finish.”
DeGrave also finished second in the 200-meter dash registering a time of 21.97 seconds.
Sophomore Dan Karys set a personal best in the triple jump with a distance of 48 feet, 5.5 inches. The jump placed him in fourth place against the field.
“Karys peaked to a personal best at the right time,” Brown said. “If we get everybody to their bests, there isn’t much more we can ask from them.
“Drake is a small school without the depth as some of the other schools in the conference. If everyone is at that level we will earn more points in the outdoor [season].”
Freshman Omet Kak also had a fourth place finish in the mile run with a time of 4:14.15.
Juniors Charlie Lapham and Matt Jurysta finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 800-meter. Lapham ran a time of 1:54.00 and Jurysta clocked in at 1:54.99.
The men registered 48 points in the meet. Indiana State took home the indoor crown with 139.5 team points.
The women’s squad finished the indoor conference meet with three athletes finishing in second.
Senior Ari Curtis came up just short of the 400-meter crown with a time of 55.99 seconds. Senior Beth Hamling followed Curtis across the line in third place with a time of 56.07.
Senior Tyse Samani’s leap of 5 feet, 7 inches was an inch short of the high jump title but was good enough for a second place showing. Samani won the event last year but was bested by senior Amanda Albrecht of Illinois State.
Sophomore Marissa Smith ran a personal-best time of 8.60 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, which earned her a second-place finish. Sophomore Sarah Yeager placed sixth with a time of 8.99.
“[Assistant coach] Kevin Henderson has done a tremendous job of breaking down [Smith’s] form and working on the minor details to cut her time,” Brown said. “Technical work with both her and Yeager developed their confidence and resulted in drops in times.”
Senior Casey McDermott wore some tread off her running shoes by competing in the mile, 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter races. McDermott finished sixth in the mile, eighth in the 3,000 and ninth in the 5,000.
Senior Kara McCartney ran to a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.00. Senior Clarissa LaFlora’s time of 2:18.94 was good enough for eighth place.
The women’s team finished with a total of 51 points. Wichita State ran away with the competition with 186 points.
“Going into the outdoor season, we expect the athletes to drop a second off their times because of the larger tracks,” Brown said. “I’m excited where we are heading.”