Track and field compete at Drake Relays

Mark Shanahan, Assistant Sports Editor

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The men’s 4×100-meter really team had the highest finish among Panther competitors over the weekend at the Drake Relays.

The relay team included junior Jonathon Boey, freshman Ja’Marcus Townsend, junior Jamal Robinson and senior Christian Ilunga-Matthiesen. The relay team finished sixth in the finals on Saturday with a time of 40.96.

Junior Riley McInerney had the other top 10 finish on Saturday in the men’s steeplechase finishing sixth with a time of 9:10.86.

McInerney learned several things about the tough field of competitors he went up against.

“It was my slowest race of the year, but there were still several good things to take away from it,” he said. “I got to experience running the steeple in really bad weather, which could come in handy at conference or regionals. I’ve never been in a big steeplechase field like that before. Most of my steeples have been at small meets, so running at the Drake Relays helps me see what the other runners at regionals will be like.”

The junior will keep the same approach moving forward.

“My approach will be similar for conference,” he said. “Eastern Kentucky has two elite steeplechase runners, and Belmont has a freshman stud as well. I’m capable of competing with those guys, so I will have a similar mentality of getting into a good position early on, and then hanging with the leaders and go for the win.”

Junior sisters Ruth and Rachel Garippo competed in the women’s steeplechase. Ruth finished in 11th place with a time of 10:51.95 and Rachel was 16th with a time of 10:59.30. The women’s distance medley relay team finished 11th with a time of 11:50.93 on Saturday. The relay team consisted on senior Amy Yeoman, senior Dhiaa Dean, senior Kristen Paris and senior Kristen Rohrer.

Junior Kendall Williams was 14th in the men’s long jump with a jump of 22 feet and 1.75 inches. Junior Bryn Buckwalter placed 15th in the women’s shot put with a throw of 46 feet and 10 inches.

The Panthers had two top ten finishes in Friday’s action. Sophomore Haleigh Knapp was seventh in the women’s high jump with a height of 5 feet eight inches. The women’s 4×800-meter relay team finished eighth with a time of 8:47.20.

Buckwalter placed 21st in the discus with a throw of 143 feet and 2 inches. Senior Amina Jackson was 22nd in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.94. She was apart of the 4×400-meter relay team with placed 18th with a time of 3:52.28. Senior Cassidy Strohl, sophomore Darneisha Spann and Dean joined her on that relay team.

In the Thursday action, Paris was 10th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.69. Senior Mark Pedziwiatr was fifth for the men in the same race with a time of 1:51.64.

Both teams will be back in action on Friday, as they will host the EIU Twilight at O’Brien field.

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