Men win, women take second at Friday Night Special


Justin Brown

Senior Tori Master clears a hurdle Friday during the Friday Night Special at Lantz Fieldhouse. Master earned a first place finish in the 400-meter hurdle with a time of 1:06.34.

Kaitlin Cordes, Track and Field Reporter

The Panthers snatched 22 top-three finishes Friday at the last regular meet of the season, earning the men first and the women second at the Eastern Friday Night Special in Lantz Field House.

The men kicked of the competition with a bang as they took the top-three spots in the 60-meter dash. Senior Jamal Robinson placed first with a time of 6.87 seconds followed by junior Davion McManis (7.02) and sophomore Ja’Marcus Townsend (7.04).

Townsend also picked up the top spot in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.60 seconds.

Senior Myles Foor came out on top in the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 57.56 seconds and was the only Panther to place within the top five in the event.

The men’s strong performances continued in the long-distance events as well. Senior Michael Mest placed fourth overall in the mile run at 4:19.28 followed by freshman Robby Prescott at 4:19.73.

Freshman Austin Earp and senior Tyler Keen led the way in the 5,000-meter run with Earp trekking the distance in 16:09.55 and Keen pacing at 16:26.22 to snatch second.

Three top-five finishes in the 60-meter hurdles rounded out the men’s running events. Senior John Piper scored eight points with his second-place time of 8.19 seconds. Senior Elven Walker (8.36) took third, and freshman Raymond Crittenden (8.75) finished fifth.

The long jump, triple jump and high jump events finished out the men’s 10 top-three finishes. Freshman Joe Smith placed third in the long jump after leaping a distance of 6.83 meters. Junior Chrisford Stevens dominated the triple jump with a final distance of 14.15 meters. Sophomore Ashton Wilson placed third in high jump after clearing 1.98 meters.

The men finished the meet with 126 team points. Indiana State (111) placed second followed by Bradley University (62) and Southern Illinois (59).

The women chipped in 12 top-three performances across several events as well. Eastern took the top three spots in the mile run and 400-meter dash. Senior Rachel Garippo gave the Panthers 10 points after a stellar 5:06.07 race to take first-place honors in the mile run.

Sophomores Jocelyne Mendoza (5:15.71) and Sam Lechowicz (5:18.98) followed suit to take second and third respectively.

In the 400-meter dash, senior Dhiaa Dean zoomed past her opponents to earn first with a time of 58.91. Freshman Sophia Keith came in second just 0.49 seconds after Dean while junior Stephanie Dominguez (59.72) placed third.

Junior Nyjah Lane topped out both the preliminaries and the finals in the 60-meter dash, finishing with a final time of 7.61 seconds.

In the 60-meter hurdles, junior Darneisha Spann placed third with a time of 8.72 seconds, narrowly missing her second-place counterpart’s time by 0.04 seconds. The Panthers dominated the 400-meter hurdles when junior Tori Master cleared the hurdles in 1:06.34, and freshman Madalynn Gil placed second with a time of 1:08.70.

Junior Haleigh Knapp outjumped her competitors in the high jump with a first-place clearance of 1.68 meters after the unattached opponent is discounted. Junior Brion Portis bounded 11.95 meters in the triple jump to earn Eastern its final first place finish on the women’s side.

Indiana State took top team honors with 130 points while Eastern (112) placed second. Southern Illinois earned 65 points to sit at third place followed by Bradley University (51) in fourth.

The Friday Night Special was Eastern’s final competition before heading into the two-day Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship to be held at home in Lantz Arena on Feb. 24 and 25.

Kaitlin Cordes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]