The DePauw track and field team concluded their indoor season this past weekend as they competed at the NCAC Championships. The men finished in fifth place, while the women finished in seventh.
The men’s team scored a total of 71 points, the most the team has scored since the 2012 meet, while the women’s team totaled 35 points. The Ohio Wesleyan University men, who finished with 164 points and the Oberlin College women, who finished with 181 points, won the meet.
“I thought that we exceeded expectations for the most part,” first-year Cole Martin said. “I thought morale was really high this weekend compared to previous meets.”
Martin helped lead the Tigers’ distance medley relay to the team’s first championship of the meet, as the relay of Martin, first-year Dante Stewart, sophomore Alex Rossebo, and sophomore Zach Batt finished the event with a time of 10:27.45. The distance medley relay win was DePauw’s first championship in the event since they entered the NCAC in 2010.
The men’s team also received great performances from the sprint group, as the 4×400 relay of first-year Jordan Booker, Stewart, Rossebo and sophomore Johnny Miller broke DePauw’s 48-year old school record in the event with their time of 3:25.18. Their time was good enough for third place at the meet.
Booker and Stewart continued their momentum from the relay in the 400 meter run, as Booker won the event with a time of 50.27 and Stewart finished in fifth with a time of 50.99. The team’s 4×200 relay, consisting of sophomore Chase Wright, first-year Luke Patty, Stewart and Miller, also finished with all-conference honors with their third place finish at the meet.
The women took advantage of their opportunities, and nearly every runner that competed scored points. The team was led by senior Claudia Monnett’s pair of second place finishes in the mile run, where she finished with a time of 5:08.10, and in the 3000 meter run, where she finished with a time of 10:16.87. Monnett’s time earned her all-NCAC honors in both events. The distance group also saw a strong performance from first-year Natalie Gruszka, who finished in fifth place in the 800 meters with a time of 2:26.95.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Daanen, and senior Amanda Weber led the team’s sprint group, as Daanen finished in fourth place in the 60 meters, with a time of 8.10, and Weber finished in eighth place in the event with a time of 8.25.
Although the meet was successful for the athletes who did travel to the meet, they felt that they were very shorthanded. The chances to score points were minimal with many events having only one or two athletes competing.
“We don’t have a lot of firepower right now,” Head Coach Kori Stoffregen said. “We need more bodies in a lot of different areas to be truly productive.”
Both teams will look to carry their conference performances into the next part of their seasons, as they transition from indoor track to outdoor track. Both sides remain confident that indoor conference is only their first step towards becoming the best team that they can be.
“I believe both myself and the rest of the team has lots of untapped potential for success,” Batt said. “I’m excited to see where we can go with the momentum coming out of the indoor season.”
The track and field teams are off of competition this weekend as they prepare for their outdoor track opener at the Rose-Hulman University Early Bird on Saturday March 18. The first event is scheduled to take place at 12:30 p.m..