Track & Field teams head to Western Illinois

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s and the women’s track and field teams will be participating in the Western Illinois Lee Calhoun meet this weekend.

Eastern coach Tom Akers said Western Illinois is an annual meet, but Eastern hasn’t been to it in awhile.

“Western Illinois, Illinois State and I think three or four other school that will have a little bit smaller squad sizes so it’s going to be pretty low key compared to what we just got done doing,” he said.

Eastern had recently hosted the Big Blue Classic, which was a three-day event. Western Illinois is just a one-day meet this Saturday.

Akers is happy with the progression each team has made through the first two outdoor meets.

“I think opening up with our first two meets, I’ve been pretty pleased with what I’ve seen so far,” he said. “The question is we got to stay healthy and continue to progress and hopefully as we get a little better weather for competition, hopefully our performances will continue to get better.”

Red-shirt junior Norvel Mohammed was named Ohio Valley Conference Male Track Athlete of the Week this week for placing first in two events last weekend.

Akers doesn’t think that there is any event group that is underperforming compared to the others.

“I think right now almost all event areas are doing pretty well, so I don’t think there’s any one event area lagging behind the others,” he said. “Each group just needs to continue to get better and maybe a few more people step up and perform a little better, but right now I think we got some pretty solid performances across the board.”

Like Eastern, Western Illinois has an outdoor track that is around their football field, but the stadium is bowl shaped.

“It’s a very similar set up, it’s in their football stadium, it’s around their football field, but it is sort of down in a bowl,” he said. “ So if there is some wind it sort of funnels it right down there through the track, but it’s a good facility.”

Akers didn’t name anyone who would not be making the trip this weekend, because the lineup will be named Thursday.

“I think most of our top competitors are feeling pretty good, and we’ll sort to see probably when we make our lineup Thursday,” he said.

Akers is open to resting athletes this week however because of the meets coming up later in the season.

“We’ve still got a lot of meets ahead of us and a closer meet next weekend at U of I where we’ll be able to take a lot more competitors,” he said. If there are some people that aren’t quite ready we’ll definitely rest them this weekend”

The Western Illinois Lee Calhoun meet is Saturday in Macomb.


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