The Daily Eastern News

Track and Field set to be top contenders

Kaitlin Cordes, Track and Field Reporter

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It can be surmised that the track and field team’s success in this year’s indoor season will leak into future victories in the outdoor season. That assumption would be correct.

The Panthers held strong in the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships in Feb. when both the men and women each took home the championship title, proving that they were the best in OVC.

Eastern will travel to two of the same schools that they faced in the indoor season as they return to Indiana University and the University of Illinois for rematches of sorts. Trips to Southern Illinois-Carbondale, Western Illinois, Drake and Illinois State have also been slated on the schedule.

It’s likely that Eastern will not face a conference opponent until late April when they head to Champaign for the Illinois Twilight meet, barring the competition line ups remain the same as the 2015-2016 season’s. The Panthers will race against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville once before meeting them at the conference competition in May.

The Panthers’ first stop will be the Bill Cornell Classic in Carbondale. It’s still too early to determine the exact competitor line up as the entry deadline was yesterday; however, Carbondale will present a challenge to Eastern come Saturday.

The Saluki men took second in the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships while the women placed fourth overall. Carbondale also sent three athletes to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships where Kyle Landon took second in high jump and earned first-team, All-American honors with a leap of 7’5”.

Fellow MVC team Illinois State will host this time around as the Redbirds traveled to Eastern in the outdoor season. The men’s team finished fourth at their conference meet, the highest finish for them in two years. The women placed second overall.

The Redbirds had just one athlete advance to the NCAA championship. Derrius Rogers notched as second-team, All-American time of 6.77 seconds in the 60-meter dashing, putting him up at 13th in the event.

Summit League opponents Western Illinois will see action against Eastern this weekend and will host the Panthers in mid-April. The men and women each placed fifth in the conference, and Malachi Adams won the 60- and 200-meter dashes. His 200-meter dash time is just .48 seconds faster than junior Jamal Robinson’s fastest indoor race.

The Eastern women’s team will head into the outdoor conference championships as returning title-holders. The women won their first OVC outdoor title since 2013 while the men finished second overall and 59 points under champions Southeast Missouri.

Eastern will be sure to dominate its only home meet of the outdoor season. At the indoor home opener this year, the men and women each took third. The men won the John Craft Invite while the women boasted second and repeated their respective placings at the Friday Night Special.

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

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Track and Field set to be top contenders