Track And Field To Host 38th Annual Jim Duncan Invitational
DES MOINES, IOWA – The Drake University track and field teams will compete on their home track for the first time this season with the 38th annual running of the Jim Duncan Invitational April 11-12 at Drake Stadium.
The meet is the Bulldogs’ second outdoor meet of the season after opening the campaign at the Arkansas Spring Invitational last weekend, prior to returning to the Blue Oval.
“Running at home is exciting for our team because it’s a chance for the full team to compete,” said Drake track and field head coach Natasha Kaiser-Brown. “Plus we’re planning on scoring it as a dual meet with UNI, so that will add an element of excitement for our athletes.”
In addition to UNI, the collegiate field features competitors from 16 other programs competing in the two-day event. Last year’s Jim Duncan Invitational saw eight collegiate meet records shattered and this year’s field promises to test many of those records again. The meet is named in honor of legendary Drake Relays announcer Jim Duncan (1912-89). In addition to serving as the voice of the Relays for nearly four decades, he was a former MVC Champion in the quarter-mile for the Bulldogs and a longtime professor of radio and journalism at Drake.
Action gets underway on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with the high jump and action on the track starting at 5 p.m. with the women’s 10,000 meters. The meet resumes on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the boy’s high school long jump and the girl’s shuttle hurdle relay getting the running events underway 30 minutes later.
The Bulldogs opened their season with 28 top-10 finishes at Arkansas but were also left with plenty to improve on for the Jim Duncan Invitational and upcoming meets.
“We’re looking to build momentum coming off of the Arkansas meet as we continue to transition into the outdoor season,” Kaiser-Brown said. “I think in a few weeks, we’ll be the team we need to be but right not we need this meet to work on the technical elements we need to focus on to be successful.”
In that season-opening effort, Drake’s men’s throwers recorded the team’s top two finishes as Andy Curtis (Manchester, Iowa) finished second in the hammer throw with a toss of 188-4 on Friday night while David Silkman (Leawood, Kan.) was second as well in the javelin with a mark of 192-3. Curtis also took seventh in the discus with a throw of 140-10. Curtis is also the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week for his effort at Arkansas and classroom performance.
Sarah Yeager (Ottumwa, Iowa) made her season debut in a Drake uniform and picked up right where she left off by winning the women’s 100-meter hurdles in 13.82 and finishing third in the 400-meter hurdles at 1:00.27. The senior also ran a leg on the Bulldogs’ 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays that finished fourth and ninth, respectively. Her 100-meter hurdle time is the fastest in the MVC this season and her 400-meter hurdle time ranks third.
Following the Jim Duncan Invitational, the Bulldogs continue their outdoor season next weekend with select members of the squad competing at the Mt. SAC Relays and others in the Gateway Classic in Edwardsville, Ill.