Track, field ready for first outdoor home meet


Tyler Yunk

Senior John Piper goes over the hurdles in the 60 yard hurdles. Piper won the race in a time of 8.07 setting a new personal best.

Alex Hartman, Track and Field Reporter

With the changing of the seasons, the switch from the indoor track season to the outdoor season happens as well. They opened their outdoor season at SIUC at the Bill Cornell Classic in Carbondale last weekend.

The team had a handful of first place and top five finishes to start off the outdoor season. Eastern brings back six; first or second team All-OVC from the indoor season, who will lead the team into the outdoor season.

This week Eastern track and field comes home for their only home meet of the outdoor season. They will host the Big Blue Classic at O’Brien Field this Friday and Saturday. There is a total of 18 teams that will be competing at the meet, including; Bradley, College of DuPage, Grand Valley State, Illinois, UIC, Illinois State, Indiana State, Milikin, Milwaukee, Saint Louis, Valparaiso, Fort Wayne, Olivet Nazarene and Western Illinois.

Field events are scheduled to start at 1p.m. Friday and running events at 5:30 p.m.

On Saturday, field events start at 9:30 a.m. and running at 11:30 a.m.

Being a home meet certainly has its benefits for the team as well.

“Having a home meet has its advantages. The local community there to support us and being able to sleep in our own beds is a huge advantage over the competition,” freshman distance runner Marcus Skinner said.

At Eastern’s previous outdoor meet, there were over 20 top five finishers to start off the season. Two first place regulars from the indoor season came out and earned first place in their events, with senior distance runner Ruth Garippo winning the women’s 5000 meter run. Then senior thrower Bryn Buckwalter won the women’s shot put.

Some other notable finishers were senior sprinter Jamal Robinson who finished third in the 100m dash with a top OVC time this season.  Also junior jumper Chrisford Stevens posted the 36th best triple jump mark In the NCAA West Region with his third place leap of 47’7.25”.

The team is looking strong thus far in the outdoor season, and the athletes agree.

“We think we have a great chance at winning conference again! Everybody has been working so hard and we have a really strong group overall,” junior runner Caroline Collet said.

The next stop for Eastern Track and Field will be the Red Bird Invite at Illinois State, Normal Illinois April 8th.

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