Droddy sets track record in 5K at Ohio Wesleyan meet


The men and women of the DePauw Track and Field team are entering the meat of their spring season schedule and are doing so without a crucial part of the sport – an actual track.
The team, which has had to make due as the outdoor track facility in Blackstock Stadium has been under renovation, has stayed flexible using indoor facilities, DePauw’s nature park trails, Greencastle High School’s track and any means necessary to continue to train and prepare for the NCAC Outdoor championship May 3 and 4 at Kenyon College.
Despite the irritating conditions, both Tiger squads had solid performances at last weekend’s Marv Frye Invitational at Ohio Wesleyan University. The men finished 12th out of 14 teams while the women placed seventh out of the 14.
The highlight on the men’s side was senior captain Noah Droddy, who broke the track record in the 5,000 meter on his way to the team’s lone first place finish. The time of 14:37 was a personal best for Droddy and ranks him in the top ten nationally, positioning him in contention to compete at the 2013 Division III national meet in LaCrosse, Wis.
The race was Droddy’s first outdoor 5k in two seasons. Much of his athletic success has been during the cross country during the fall. Last November, he placed 8th at the Div. III cross country nationals. But Droddy, who has had injury problems during the track and field season in the past, was excited to finally run his race during the spring season.
“It’s really exciting to go out and run like that already,” Droddy said. “Track is really uncharged for me. I’ve only had one season so I’m really not sure what I’m capable of doing just yet, but it’s nice to see a really good result this early.”
Head coach Kori Stoffregen noted all the more impressive about Droddy’s performance was the track’s history which has been used to host national meets.
On the women’s side, senior Brittany Sievers was the only first-place finisher for the Tigers in the disc with a throw of 38.35 meters. Freshman Heather O’Brien continued her stellar season with a second place finish the 5,000 at 18:06.1.
Stoffregen noted that the women in the middle distance events all had impressive days. Senior Kathleen Molloy, of recent fame as a starting player for the DePauw Division III national champion basketball team, placed fifth in the 800 meter run (2:20.42) while junior Nicole Inman finished eighth (2:23.72) and the 4X400 meter relay team was fourth with 4:11.33
“We’ve got a nice little middle distance group going right now,” Stoffregen said. “They all had good performances. The middle distance and long sprinting group for women is doing really well and we need them to do well.”
An added bonus for both teams on Saturday and the rest of the weekend was a drop in temperature that has reduced a little stress for the Tigers.
“It’s probably even more important this year [to have good weather] when we don’t have a track to practice on,” Stoffregen said. “We need good weather to keep going strong.”
The teams will continue their season next Saturday at Franklin College at the Indiana Division III meet.