The men and women had 14 top-20 finishers in final events at the Notre Dame Meyo Invite over the weekend. The highlight of the meet was the new school record in the women’s distance medley.
The four members of the women’s distance medley relay team included sophomore Jocelyne Mendoza, senior Dhiaa Dean, senior Kristen Paris, and senior Julie James. The team broke the previous record of 11:50.24 set during the 2015 season. They set a new record of 11:41.99, which earned seventh place in the event.
Mendoza said that it was a genuinely fun race to be apart of. Mendoza was the first leg of the relay for the Panthers.
“I felt really strong during my leg,” she said. Being the start off, it was really brutal start in terms of knowing others are going to be trying to cut in or box me in. It was a tough race mentally, a lot of girls just trying to fight to get a good lead off for their team.
Mendoza’s start set the tone for the three other women behind her and knowing that they had her back kept her going, she said.
“I was pure motivated by wanting to hold up my end and do my best I could for the team,” Mendoza said. “I know I could definitely improve in terms of racing smarter, but I was a great experience.”
Eastern’s track team has been having strong outings at its last few meets. They finished top five at the Illini Classic, first at the John Craft Invite and had many top five finishers at the Indiana Relays.
The team is heating up at this point in the season and is looking much improved from the beginning of the season.
Besides Kristen Paris’s performance in the medley event, she earned 19th in her 800 meter run with a time of 2:11.65, and is also the top time in the Ohio Valley Conference this season.
In the field events, senior thrower Bryn Buckwalter had a pair of top 20 finishes in the weight throw and the shotput. Her throw of 49’03.75” in shotput got her an eighth place spot and earned 19th in the weight throw with a distance of 52’02.75”.
On the men’s side, senior thrower Riley Kittridge led Eastern with a pair of top 20 finishes in the shotput and weight throw. In the shotput his throw of 56’02.00” earned him the eight overall spot, and in the weight throw his toss of 54’03.75” got him the 14th spot. Fellow thrower, freshman, Nick Phillips also earned 16th in the weight throw.
Then more distance runners found success, this time it was the men’s distance medley relay, who finished in fifth with a time of 10:03.76. The four runners included senior Riley McInerney, junior Lars Ott, senior Karson Hahn and senior Michael Mest.
McInerney had a good time in the mile with 4’13.25”, but it was just not quite fast enough to get into the top 20 in the finals.
The next time Eastern track and field will return to action will be at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet Friday Feb. 10th in Michigan.
Alex Hartman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]