Compiled from news releases submitted by North Central College
Facing some of the nation's best competition, the men's track and field proved equal to the task at the 103rd annual Drake Relays, establishing a new school record and turning in some of this season's top performances throughout the NCAA Division III ranks.
The fourth-ranked Cardinals' top finish of the weekend came in the 4-by-200-meter relay, as Jon Caron, Bai Kabba, Dionte Hackler and Jon Howard finished second in 1 minutes, 26.08 seconds to miss the school record in the event by just .02 of a second. The quartet also teamed up in the 4x400 relay, turning in a season-best time of 3:13.16 in Friday's preliminary heats to qualify for Saturday's final.
The Cardinals improved their time once again in the final, hitting the finish line in 3:11.65 to place third overall. North Central's time ranks it second nationally in Division III, behind only the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, which won Saturday's race in 3:10.75.
North Central got a fifth-place finish in the pole vault from Jake Winder, who tied his outdoor personal best with a clearance of 17 feet, 4 1/4 inches to come in first among all non-Division I entrants. Winder's mark is the top outdoor performance in Division III this season.
The Cardinals got a school-record performance in the shuttle hurdle relay, as Joey Michals, Kalen Petty, Mike Varela and Kyle Pembrook finished sixth with a time of 1:01.15. The previous North Central record of 1:01.45 had stood since 2002.
North Central's participation in the meet opened with the 10,000-meter run on Thursday, as Dan Kerley placed seventh in a field of 30 competitors in a personal-best time of 29:58.23. Kerley now owns the seventh-fastest time in Division III this season and ranks seventh-fastest in North Central history.
The Cardinals had one other top-10 finish, as Juliano Lodi, Mustapha Olaoye, Pat Foley and John Crain placed ninth in the distance medley relay (10:09.28).
North Central travels to Illinois Wesleyan University on Friday and Saturday for the 2012 College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Outdoor Championships. The Cardinals will be seeking their 34th CCIW outdoor title.
Posting first-place finishes in seven of 19 events, the North Central College women's track and field team finished at the top of the standings for the fourth time this spring on Friday, as the Cardinals stood atop a 16-team field at the Benedictine University Twilight Invitational.
Despite having several individuals sidelined in preparation for next week's College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Outdoor Championships, North Central was able to compile 174 points. Loyola University Chicago was a distant second with 127 points, while CCIW rival Wheaton College was third with 92.
The Cardinals swept the top two positions in the triple jump, as Basheeba May placed first (35'11 1/4") and Brooke Patterson finished second (35'4 1/2"). North Central posted a 1-3 finish in the pole vault, as Elizabeth Composto won (11'8") and Patterson placed third (10'8 1/4"), and won a third event when Brianna Tolliverposted a first-place effort of 133'10" in the javelin throw.
North Central won the first running event of the evening, the 4x100-meter relay, asKayla Murphy, Brittny Olson, Monique DeCap and Olivia Lopez teamed up to clock a time of 49.16 seconds. The Cardinals won both hurdle events, as Molly Gstalterwas timed in 15.89 seconds to with the 100-meter hurdles and Amanda Coglianese won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:05.11. Amanda Marek added a victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, hitting the finish line in 11:30.12.
Murphy added a second-place finish in the 200-meter dash (25.22), narrowly missing out on the win in a photo finish, while Jocelyn Redlinski finished second in the long jump (16'9 3/4") and Ebony Stallworth was the runner-up in the shot put (38'9 1/2"). Chelsea Armstrong posted a third-place finish in the hammer throw (135'6"), as did Olson in the 100-meter dash (12.97).
The CCIW Championships will be contested Friday and Saturday at Illinois Wesleyan University. Competition is set to begin at 10 a.m. both days.
The North Central College women's golf team closed out its 2012 spring schedule with a win on Friday, topping an eight-team field and winning by eight strokes in the Robert Morris University Spring Classic at Bonnie Brook Golf Course.
The Cardinals finished with an 18-hole total of 328, topping the second-place University of St. Francis' total of 336. North Central also had the top individual finisher in the field, as Mallory Carr turned in a four over-par score of 76 to top runner-up Debby Bouzeos of Wheaton College by a single stroke.
North Central had two other players crack the top 10, as Marisa Miko tied for fourth with a score of 82 and Mary Kate Rohn tied for seventh place with 84. Alayna Dufour completed the Cardinals' scoring by carding an 86 to place 16th.
The 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships will be contested May 8-11 at Zollner Golf Course in Angola, Ind. At-large selections for this year's championships will be announced in the coming days.