Track ready for Indiana Relays

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

Athletes of the Week Kendall Williams and Kristen Paris of the men and women’s track teams are back in action at the Indiana Relays this weekend.

Paris won two race titles last weekend in the 800-meter and the mile, and Williams won two field events in the long jump and triple jump.

Coach Tom Akers noted that Eastern has not participated in the Indiana Relays meet the past couple of years.

“It’s usually a pretty big meet and we’re hoping it’s going to be the same,” he said. “We haven’t been there for two years. Last year we went to Northern Iowa so we’re going back over to Indiana this year, little bit closer and not quite as big of a hit on the budget.”

Akers gave the women’s team a lot of credit from their strong performance at the John Craft Invite.

“I thought the women did a really good job of competing really well across the board,” he said. “On the men’s side, we looked solid, but I don’t think we looked strong. So this weekend, hopefully we’re going to be a little more rested going in to the meet and hopefully with some outstanding competition, we’ll raise the level of our performances this weekend.”

Akers pointed out juniors Angelica Anyaogu and Paris for their efforts.

“Angie Anyaogu had a really nice meet with a new personal best in the long jump and winning the 60 meters,” he said. “Kristen Paris obviously the double winner in the 800 and the mile.”

Team health is not that big of an issue up to this point in the indoor season for Eastern.

“We are pretty healthy right now but there will be a couple people holding out just to make sure that they can continue to get healthy,” Akers said. “Briana Walker has a slightly strained hamstring, so we’re going to rest her and Nyjah Lane who we rested last weekend will be back in the lineup in the short sprints. Right now we are probably as healthy as we’ve been all year.”

Akers seeks a competitive mentality from the men’s team.

“Continue to move forward, get some better performances and be a little more competitive,” he said. “Generally if we get in there and compete against competition, the performances will come out. I thought the girls competed really well, and I think our guys need to step up our competitive effort just a little bit.”

The Indiana Relays are a two-day event, which will begin Friday Night and continue all day Saturday.

Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].