Track and field dominates in John Craft Invite

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men’s and women’s track and field teams each earned first place honors at the EIU John Craft Invite over the weekend as they had 21 total first place finishes.

Senior Amina Jackson set a new record for Eastern in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with her time of 1:02.32 seconds as she won the event. Redshirt freshman Brion Portis also got her name in the record books as her distance of 37’10.50” in the triple jump was ninth best in Panthers history and the best mark of the event.

Senior Amy Yeoman set a new personal record in the mile run with a time of 5:03.34 seconds, which was first place in the event. Senior Dhiaa Dean took first in the women’s 600-meter run with a time of 1:35.60 seconds. Sophomore Haleigh Knapp was another first place finisher in the high jump.

In the field events, junior Bryn Buckwalter and senior Janie Howse each had first place finishes for the second meet in a row. Buckwalter claimed first in the shot put, while Howse had her best mark in the weight throw which earned her first place. The women’s 4×400-meter relay team which had Jackson, Dean, sophomore Darneisha Spann and senior Cassidy Strohl claimed first place with their time of 4:00.59 seconds.

Michael Mest runs the mile at the John Craft Invitational Saturday in Lantz Field House. Mest finished with a time of 4:24.22.
Michael Mest runs the mile at the John Craft Invitational Saturday in Lantz Field House. Mest finished with a time of 4:24.22.

For the men, senior Eric Gordon earned first place finishes in both the 400-meter hurdles and the pole vault. His height in the pole vault was a new personal record. Juniors Jonathon Boey, Jamal Robinson, John Piper and Riley Kittridge all took first in their events.

Boey ran in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.78 seconds. Robinson competed in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.61 seconds. Piper did the 60-meter hurdles with a top time of 8.52 seconds, and Kittridge participated in the weight throw with a throw of 48’09.00”. Seniors Calvin Edwards and Mark Pedziwiatr also took first in the 400-meter and 800-meter runs.

Freshman Michael Miller posted the top time of 1:26.20 seconds in the 600-meter run. Junior Paxson Menard also took first place honors in the mile run. Sophomore Davion McManis rounded out the individual first place finishes in the long jump where he had his seasons best distance.

The men continued their success in the 4×400-meter relay and the distance medley. The relay team consisted of freshman Ja’Marcus Townsend, sophomore Lars Ott, Miller and Edwards. They finished with a time of 3:26.82 seconds.

The distance medley team consisted of redshirt senior Brock Ramos, sophomore Michael Brown, junior Tyler Yunk and Pedziwiatr, and they finished with a time of 10:42.63 seconds. Redshirt senior Joe Calio was originally supposed to be on this relay team, but was replaced by Ramos because of a foot injury.

“I have been having troubles with it during cross country season and it flared up after the mile,” Ramos said.

Calio did not think that the chemistry would be off even after he had to be replaced the day of the race.

“Maybe a little, but nothing too much,” he said. “Our team is tight enough to handle it.”

The women’s team finished with a total of 211 points and was followed by Murray State who had 156 points. Chicago State came in third with 38 points and SIU Edwardsville closed out the team standing with seven points.

The men dominated the team standings with 278 total points. Chicago State came in second with 23 points and SIU Edwardsville in last with 14 points. The Illinois Track Club, McKendree University and Maryville University also competed, but did not post team scores.


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