Men Finish Sixth, Women Tie for 12th at BIG EAST Outdoor Championships
Senior Antione Drakeford

May 2, 2010

CINCINNATI On the final day of the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of Cincinnati at Gettler Stadium, the men’s team had a first-place finish, a second-place finish, and broke two school records to place fifth with 75.50 points, while the women’s team had all three relays score points in addition to placing two in the 800m, one in the 200m, and one in the hammer throw to finish in a tie for 12th place with 31 points.

Notre Dame won the men’s team title with 123 points, while Louisville captured the women’s title with 108 points.

On the final day of action and in his final competitive appearance in front of the home crowd, senior Antione Drakeford delivered 10 points for UC when he triumphed in the 400m with a time of 46.31, making him a two-time BIG EAST Champion in the event. The 400m turned out to be the men’s highest-scoring event as junior Chase VanCura ran a personal-best time of 47.83 to finish fifth, giving UC a 14-point total in the event.



Sophomore Eric Finan, who finished fifth in the 5,000m at the BIG EAST Championships a season ago, put on a show for the home fans finishing in second place in the 5,000m in a school-record time of 14:01.16, breaking his own school record by a staggering 11 seconds. Finan finished two seconds behind Louisville Matt Hughes and became the third UC athlete to take home all-conference honors in an individual event joining Drakeford and Saturday’s men’s javelin winner, Brian Zimmerman.

The other school-record performance came in the final track event of the championships, the 4x400 relay. The quartet of Ethan Freet, Maurice Norman, VanCura, and Drakeford, who three weeks ago at the Sea Ray Relays broke the 25-year old school record in the event, set a new school-record with a third-place time of 3:09.60, besting their mark three weeks ago by .17 seconds.

In other events on the men’s side, Drakeford finished sixth in the 200m clocking in at 21.72, before helping his 4x100 teammates of Mario Cannon, VanCura, and Dayo Igeleke, capture fourth place with a seasonal-best mark of 40.87.

Michael Rutherford made a push to make the Top 3 in the men’s 800m and in the final 200m he was neck-and-neck with Notre Dame’s Jack Howard, but Rutherford crossed the line with a fourth-place time of 1:51.48, netting five points for UC.

Terrence Somerville put together a fifth-place showing in the 110 hurdles, clocking in at 14.34. The other lone Bearcat to place was Dayo Igeleke, who was in contention for the 100m title but pulled up with a hamstring injury about 20 meters before the finish and placed sixth.

Finally for the men, the 4x800 relay team of Jon McClelland, Jason Berling, Tony Williamson, and Rutherford ran a season-best mark of 7:43.01, bettering their previous best by seven seconds.

For the women, Kathy Klump and Jenna Heaton both ran in the 800m and finished fifth and seventh, respectively, with times of 2:10.14 and 2:11.86. The duo added six points to the women’s score before another point was added when Natasha Burse placed eighth in the 200m with a time of 24.57.

In the final field event, senior Lisa Klotz saved her best performance for last throwing a PR of 168’ 04” in the hammer throw to place eighth overall and move her into fourth on UC’s all-time chart.

All three women’s relay teams scored with the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay both finishing fourth and the 4x800 squad placed sixth. In the 4x100, Hauna Dawkins, Burse, Shanay Portis, and Aricka Rhodes teamed up to post a seasonal-best mark of 46.21, before Ashley Arnold, Dawkins, Burse, and Rhodes also collected a seasonal-best time in the 4x400 relay of 3:45.12.

The women’s 4x800 relay, consisting of Jenny Harsh, Heaton, Megan McAuley, and Kathy Klump, clocked in with a sixth-place time of 8:54.81, missing their school record by five-tenths of a second.

The team will be back in action on Saturday, May 8, at the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. That will be one of two tune-ups prior to the NCAA Regional May 28-29 in Greenville, N.C.