Track and field performs well at Illini Classic

Alex Hartman, Track Reporter


With a month gap in between meets, Eastern’s men and women of indoor track competed over the long weekend at the University of Illinois at the Illini Classic.

Both sides found great individual success and had a combined strong meet overall.

The men finished fifth, just one point shy of 4th place DePaul. For the women they finished fourth out of eleven, and again, just one point shy of third place Notre Dame.

As a team, Eastern had a combined fifteen finishers in the top five in their events.

The top finishing teams at the meet however were: University of Illinois in first for the men’s, followed by Southern Illinois and Notre Dame to round out the top three. Then for the women’s side: Southern Illinois finished first followed by University of Illinois, and Notre Dame.

The teams found great success in many different events at the meet with a few personal records set as well as EIU school record book shifts in a few events.

The standouts for Eastern included senior sprinter Anita Saffa, who finished first in the 60-meter dash with a personal record as well as a second-best in Eastern history time of 7.56 seconds. Then she went on to finish second in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 25.05.

For the women’s distance runners, senior Ivy Handley finished fifth in the mile with a time of 5:05.70. Also, senior Julie James finished third in the 800 meter with a time of 2:15.27.

For men’s distance there was a great time ran by senior Riley Mcinerney, who finished first in the 3000-meter with a time of 8:15.75, and is ranked nationally in the top 15 in the event as well as eight in EIU record books for the event. Fellow distance runner, junior Chris Orlow finished fifth in the mile with a time of 4:20.26.

In the field events Eastern also found great success with many athletes getting top five places, like fourth place finishers: junior high jumper Haleigh Knapp, sophomore thrower Adam Kessler in shot put, and the pair of long jumpers junior Davion McManis and sophomore Joe Smith.

Eastern’s indoor men and women teams will continue their season after a week, back home at Lantz Fieldhouse at the annual John Craft invite January 21st.

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