Track and field teams look to continue success

Mark Shanahan, Staff Reporter

The Eastern men and women’s track and field teams will head to Indiana State this weekend to compete on Friday and Saturday in the Indiana State Gibson Invite.

Last year, the teams competed at the Indiana State Midweek Open on a Wednesday evening that served as a qualifier for the Drake Relays. The meet will not be for the same circumstance this year, however, as the teams still have several weeks before the Drake Relays.

The Panthers will compete at the Drake Relays April 28th-30rd in Des Moines, Iowa.

Both teams had many first place finishes at Indiana State last season. Junior Bryn Buckwalter won the women’s shot put with a throw of 47’3” and cracked the Eastern career list while doing so. Both the men and women took first place in the 100-meter dash, the 1500-meter run and discus at this meet.

Junior Anita Saffa won the women’s 100-meter dash with a time of 12.54 seconds. Junior Jonathan Boey won it for the men with his time of 10.77 seconds. Junior Ruth Garippo won the women’s 1500-meter run with a time of 4:56.48 seconds. Senior Mark Pedziwiatr won the same event for the men with a time of 3:59.18 seconds. Junior Janie Howse and Garrett Jensen swept the discus at the event.

Sophomore Michael Brown had a first place finish for the men’s 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.18 seconds. Juniors Tori Master and Ashley Fouch along with senior Amina Jackson all had first place finishes for the women. Master was the winner of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.12 seconds. Fouch won the 400-meter dash with her time of 58.19 seconds. Jackson was victorious in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:02.31 seconds.

Jackson hopes to do the same when she returns to Indiana State this weekend, she said.

“I do hope to do the same,” she said. “I had broken the record there. So if the weather conditions are right hopefully I can do it again. I heard that it’s supposed to be cold.”

Jackson specifically liked a few things about her visit to Indiana State last time.

“I really liked their track, and they were nice enough to give the teams tents,” she said.

Both teams are coming off of victories last weekend at the Big Blue Classic, where both teams made first-place finishes. Saffa is coming off of a very successful weekend after winning both the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Buckwalter is also coming off of a first-place victory in the women’s discus. Senior Calvin Edwards was the lone first place finisher for the men last Saturday in the 200-meter dash.

The EIU Big Blue meet is just one of two meets the Panthers will host this season. Both teams will be back at Eastern for the EIU Last Chance May 6.

Eastern won the EIU Big Blue meet with 128 points finishing ahead of the second place team, Central Michigan, which scored 114 points. Nine teams competed over the weekend.


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