Tiger Track and Field: DePauw invitational

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In their first and only home meet of the 2011 outdoor season, DePauw's track and field teams measured up well against competition from Div. I, II and III programs.

The women finished sixth and the men eighth Saturday at the DePauw Outdoor Track and Field Invitational. Despite battling strong winds throughout the day, both teams showed continued improvement as they prepared for their final appearance at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships later this month.

Vincennes University won the meet on the women's side with 139.5 points, while Indiana Wesleyan University placed second with 114 points and Case Western Reserve University took third at 111.5 points. Playing host to 12 squads, DePauw's women notched 73 points for their sixth-place finish.

"We're used to traveling an hour or so for these other meets, so it was really nice to have friends and family be able to come out and support us," said sophomore Jess Macy.

Macy was the lone winner for the Tigers, taking first in the 5,000-meter run with her time of 18:20.36. Freshman Siri Retrum also placed fourth in the event at 18:47.08.

In the 800-meter run, freshman Kathleen Molloy recorded a second-place finish out of 32 athletes with a time of 2:20.18. Junior Lisa Becharas took third in the 1,500-meter run, clocking a time of 5:00.93, while junior Lindsey Bauman notched a fourth-place showing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (12:41.91).

DePauw also came in third in the 4x400 meter relay (4:17.97) and fourth in the 4x100 relay (50.87).

In the field events, freshman Ashley Guevara finished third in the high jump at 1.52 meters (4-11.75), and freshman Jillian Balser took fourth in the pole vault at 2.75 meters (9-0.25).

Macy said competing against athletes from Div. I and II programs will prove beneficial as the Tigers prepare to face the SCAC's top teams at the conference meet April 22-23.

"We'll be used to that kind of intensity," she said. "We've hit our stride, but we haven't hit our peak yet. So hopefully we'll be able to time it just right with conference coming up."

Meanwhile, DePauw's men totaled 31 points to take eighth of 11 teams Saturday at Blackstock Stadium. Vincennes won the meet with 154 points, Wabash College finished second at 122 points and Indiana Wesleyan scored 120 points to come in third.

Sophomore Noah Droddy recorded DePauw's highest finish, taking second in the 5,000-meter run at 15:27.80.

Droddy said the Tigers posted several quality performances, despite windy conditions throughout the day.

Senior Nick Pucillo placed sixth in the event with a time of 16:05.40. Freshman Nick White took fifth in the 400-meter hurdles at 58.09 seconds, and junior Tyler Giesting posted a seventh-place finish in the 1,500-meter run (4:14.92).

Senior Robert Steele placed fifth in the long jump at 6.54 meters (21-5.5). Tiger runners also placed third in the 4x100 meter relay (43.62).

After finishing second at last year's SCAC Championships, both teams are focused on taking the title in their final season before switching to the North Coast Athletic Conference.

"We're getting the weekly emails counting down the weeks to conference," Droddy said. "The excitement is definitely building."

DePauw returns to action this Friday at the Little State Championships in Marion, Ind.