Track, field indoor season to begin Friday

Alex Hartman, Track and Field Reporter


As the first semester is ending, the start of Eastern’s 2016-17 indoor track and field season is just beginning.

Eastern is anxious to get back to competing against other schools and will get its first chance Friday when Eastern will host its annual pre-holiday Early Bird Meet in the Lantz Fieldhouse.

The meet will start with field events beginning at 2 p.m. and running events starting at approximately 4 P.m.

The schools that are competing this Friday include Eastern, Western, Illinois State and Indiana State.

Eastern is looking forward to keeping where they left off last year, when the Panthers won the men’s Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship as well as the women finishing in second place in the OVC Indoor Championship.

Having many returning veterans and a total of nine All-OVC athletes, as well as promising incoming freshman, Eastern should have another great indoor track and field year.

For many seniors, this will be their last EIU Early Bird Meet, like senior runner Riley McInerney.

“I am excited to get back out there for my senior season of track and compete after a long cross-country season,” McInerney said.

The returning All-Conference male athletes include senior thrower Riley Kittridge, McInerney, senior 5,000-meter runner Paxson Menard, senior 55-meter hurdler John Piper and senior 200-meter runner Jamal Robinson.

The returning All-Conference female athletes include senior thrower Bryn Buckwalter, junior high jumper Haleigh Knapp and sophomore distance medley relay runner Jocelyne Mendoza.

As for the coaching staff, they are looking forward to repeating success as a Team.

Eastern’s director of track and field, Tom Akers, was also named the Men’s OVC Coach of the Year for the 2015-16 indoor track and field season.

Looking ahead, the next meet after the EIU Early Bird will be at the Illinois Winter Invite held Jan. 13-14.

Alex Hartman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]