DePauw Athletes Broke School Records at DePauw Classic

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Senior Taryn Owens was cheering before she even hit the mat Saturday after breaking an indoor record in the pole vault. Owens’ 10-foot-3-inches jump gave her the indoor DePauw record and first place in the women’s track and field team’s second place finish at the DePauw Classic. Bellarmine University took first with 166.5 points to DePauw’s 132.5.
The men’s team, with a record-breaking performer of its own, finished sixth out of 12 schools with 64 points. Taylor University won the meet with 166 points.
It was an exciting scene, as teammates gathered to watch Owens and junior Jillian Balser compete as the last two athletes left in the event. After both completing 10 feet, Owens and Balser asked the meet official to move the bar to 10-feet-3.25-inches instead of the usual six inch bump, to break the then-current record. Owens was able to clear the bar with ease on her first attempt. Balser failed on her three attempts, resulting in a second place finish. Owens said being a DePauw record holder has still not sunk-in, but she and Balser will only get better as they continue to push each other.
“I’m kind of speechless still about it,” Owens said. “I have a feeling Jillian and I will be battling back and forth all season.”
Other notable performances for the day came from freshman Heather O’Brien in the 5000 meter run (17:57.08) and Nicole Inman in the 600 meter run (1:43.60).
On the men’s side, sophomore Juan Rodriguez finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles, breaking his own record in the event with a time of 8.88 seconds. Rodriguez admitted he was upset with the fourth place finish at first, but still took solace in re-breaking his own school record.
“I look at it as a proving point,” Rodriguez said. “You got to take the little victories, like ‘hey I broke the school record,’ but there are people at the meet that are better than me and I have to rise to the occasion.”
The men’s team had notable performances despite the sixth place finish. Freshman Mitch Metzger was the high jump champion with a jump of 6’4″, as was junior Kyle Mackey in the pole vault (13’9.25″). Second place finishes came from senior David Garrett in the pole vault and freshman Matt Tamarkin in the 600 meter run.
Men and women’s head coach Kori Stoffregen was pleased with the men’s team’s day despite the sixth place finish.
“I keep saying we’re getting better every week and that’s all we want out of our indoor season,” Stoffregen said.
Rodriguez echoed a similar point saying that the team really feeds off of the great individual performances.
“As a team, we’re kind of growing to a tight knit family so even individual accomplishments are like team accomplishments,” Rodriguez said. “[Your teammates] are the people you compete with and see at practice, so you’re rooting for them.”
Both teams will travel to Anderson University this weekend for the team’s first away meet of the indoor season and last tune-up before the North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Seniors Lee Harmon and Owens will start the travel to Denison for the conference Pentathlon. Harmon and Owens finished third and fourth respectively in last season’s outdoor conference heptathlon.