BY KATHERINE BAUER
The Drake track and field team was divided this weekend as they earned first-place finishes in eight different events at two different meets.
The Bulldogs garnered the majority of their wins at the Grand View Invitational on March 25, where a small portion of the team competed.
“It was a different environment (at Grand View),” junior Ethan Turner said. “There’s a certain feeling in the air that you get when you’re competing against people that can potentially beat you.”
Freshman Josh Yeager won the men’s 800-meters in 1:59.50 after missing most of the indoor season due to a leg injury.
“I’m still slowly getting back into running (and) things seem to be going well,” Yeager said. “It wasn’t so much winning that got me happy, it was being able to run again and compete. The win was nice, but that wasn’t what it was about.”
Emma Huston placed first in the women’s 800-meters in 2:18.39.
Katie Berger won the 5,000-meters in 20:34.17. Tyler Zak took first in the 400-meter hurdles in 57.77.
In the men’s triple jump, Turner claimed first with a jump of 44 feet and 7.5 inches. Sean Buczek was just behind him with a jump of 44 feet and 5.5 inches.
“Me and Sean have always competed,” Turner said. “He had me on the first couple of jumps. It was between me and him to motivate each other because the competition was him.”
The men’s and women’s 4×800 relay teams both took first as well.
On March 26, the majority of the team competed at the Arkansas Spring Invitational in Fayetteville where the Bulldogs experienced strong competition from Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma State.
“I think it’s always fun going against bigger schools, seeing what they bring to the table,” Vincent said. “I just enjoy competition, really, so it doesn’t matter who it is.”
Pierce Vincent set new personal bests in the 100-meters and 200-meters with times of 10.40 and 21.18, respectively. He placed second in the 100-meters behind professional athlete Wallace Spearmon.
“For (personal bests) to happen so early, it sets my season up to be pretty good,” Vincent said. “I got some more time I (need to) drop. I’m in a good spot. I feel pretty confident about what I can do.”
On the field, Kayla Bell won the triple jump with a leap of 40 foot 4 inches, which was just short of her own school record.
“It shocked me, actually. I didn’t know how well I did until I read the actual article (about the meet),” Bell said. “Being that close that early puts me in a really good spot.”
Taryn Rolle placed second with a personal-best jump of 39 feet 10.5 inches.
“I have a lot of stuff to work on and that’s completely fine with me,” Rolle said.
“It’s good to see (Rolle) get competitive,” Bell added. “She’s not just going to sit there and not compete. It’s always good to see us competing together.”
Bell also had a 19 foot 3.5 inch personal best jump in the long jump to finish third.
Personal records continued back on the track with Virginia Hill recording her best time in the 400-meter hurdles to place fifth in 59.86.
The men’s 4×100-meter relay placed second in 40.23.
The Bulldogs will split up again this weekend. Several field athletes will be competing at the Texas Relays, while Drake’s top runners will either go to the Stanford Invitational or the San Francisco Distance Carnival.