Track and field: Men finish seventh, women eighth at conference
Several Bulldogs performed well for Drake Track and Field at the 2016 MVC Indoor Championship this past weekend.
“It’s always one of those meets where you can get there and be ranked 20th on a preseason poll and come out and score in conference. It’s a wild card,” junior Reed Fischer said. “All and all we had some good points from a lot of different people, which is cool to see.”
Distance runners had the most successful weekend for Drake overall.
Fischer finished second in the 5000-meter in 14:28.88 during the first day of competition. He placed third in the 3000-meter in 8:17.97 on Sunday.
“(It was) a good way to end our indoor season on a high note and then carry that momentum into the outdoor season,” Fischer said.
Senior Emma Huston continued her season with a fifth-place finish in the mile with a time of 4:57.48. She claimed an eighth place finish in the 3000-meter in 9:48.40. She also ran the anchor leg of the distance medley relay, which finished second.
Senior Robert McCann finished the men’s mile in 4:15.39 to place fourth.
Sophomore Taryn Rolle finished second in the women’s triple jump and senior Kayla Bell finished third, both with leaps of 40-9.5. Bell also placed fourth in the long jump with 19-2.75.
“I wanted to do just the best I could for my team,” Bell said. “Everybody’s goal is to win. You want to go out there, have a PR. (I) didn’t go out there and get a PR, didn’t win. But at the end of the day I realized, I helped my team.”
Drake sprinters and hurdlers continued the team’s success as junior Bas Van Leersum placed third in the 400-meter with a time of 48.61 in his first career MVC Championship.
“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Van Leersum said. “I knew the competition was going to be challenging, that they were fast. I was excited to run.”
Van Leersum’s time in the preliminaries was 48.30, the best time of the day in any heat. Unfortunately for Van Leersum, it’s only the time in the final that matters for the podium.
“I was a little disappointed,” Van Leersum said. “What I did not like is that they split up the finals. There were two heats. It was kind of frustrating because I got second in my heat. But the guy in the other heat ran faster. It was annoying to lose like that.”
Senior Pierce Vincent matched his personal best in the 60-meter in 6.83 and finished fourth. Sophomore Mary Young took third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.58.
In the women’s distance medley relay, sophomore Bailee Cofer and seniors Virginia Hill, Taylor Scholl and Huston teamed up for a time of 11:48.31, finishing in second place
As a team, the men finished in seventh place and women finished in eighth out of nine schools. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these were the same team rankings the Bulldogs placed in last year.
The Illinois State women placed first, as did the Wichita State men.
The Alabama Relays is next on the schedule for the Bulldogs, taking place on March 18-19 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It will be the first outdoor competition of the season for Drake Track and Field.
“I don’t really know what to expect,” Van Leersum said. “I expect to get some good competition. I’m excited to go into outdoors, but it’s going to be a big switch.”
Although she’s been successful thus far in the season, Bell has even higher goals once the outdoor season gets underway.
“I want to win Nationals,” Bell said. I want to sweep the jumps. Regionals are not a goal; it’s an expectation.”