Track and field has strong performance at GVSU

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

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The Eastern men and women’s track and field teams posted 16 top 10 finishes at the Grand Valley State Big Meet Friday night.

Junior Anita Saffa earned top 10 finishes in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes. Both of her times were new personal records.

She placed second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.58 seconds, which puts her at a tie for the second best time in school history.

Saffa’s time of 24.73 seconds in the 200-meter dash is the fourth best time in school history.

Senior Amina Jackson also set a new personal record in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:34.83 seconds.

Jackson placed third in the event while moving into third place in school history with the time.

Jackson took advantage of her last time competing at Grand Valley State.

“I had done well at this meet last year so I knew that I had to do well again knowing that this will be the last time that I will ever run at this track for Eastern,” Jackson said.

Senior Amy Yeoman finished eighth overall in the mile run while setting a new personal record with a time of 4:53.15 seconds. She holds the top time in the OVC and it is the third best time in school history.

Sophomores Haleigh Knapp and Jackie Jones each has top 10 performances in the women’s high jump. Knapp finished the event in fifth place and Jones in ninth.

Senior Janie Howse had top 10 finishes in both the shot put and weight throw.

Howse earned second place in the weight throw and ninth in the shot put. Junior Bryn Buckwalter competed in the shot put coming in fifth place.

Maria Baldwin, Rachel Garippo and Kristen Rohrer each ran new personal record in the women’s 3000-meter run.

They now own the second, third and fourth best times in the conference.

Junior Ivy Handley also set a new personal record in the 5000-meter run with her time of 17:27.15 seconds. That time is now fifth best in school history.

The women’s 4×400-meter relay team of Dhiaa Dean, Cassidy Strohl, Darneisha Spann and Jackson crossed the finish line at 3:49.59 seconds, which is now the third fastest time in the conference.

Jackson said the men and women’s teams came out and competed Friday night.

“I think that all the teams did great,” Jackson said. “We went out to the meet and competed hard which is what track is all about. Competing to the best of your ability which is what we did.”

For the men, junior Christian Illunga-Matthiesen had a pair of top 10 finishes in the 60 and 200-meter dashes.

He had a season best time in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.84 seconds. His time of 22.11 seconds in the 200-meter dash placed him at 10th overall in the event.

The teams will return home next Friday for the EIU Friday Night Special.


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