Track, field heading to Illinois State


Justin Brown

Senior Tori Master competes in the hurdles at the Friday Night Special in the Lantz Fieldhouse Feb. 17.

Kaitlin Cordes, Track and Field Reporter


The track and field team returns to action Saturday at the Illinois State Redbird Invite.

The men’s and women’s hammer throw is Friday, but the remaining events will begin at 11 a.m. the following day.

The Panthers will face off against Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Bradley, Loyola-Chicago, Dayton and Illinois. Each school, including Eastern and Illinois State, are Division I schools.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Ebert said the competition will not be a huge challenge because she will face her own challenges personally.

“I would love to break an EIU top-10 record and just be able to be consistent. I want to be able to have a consistent performance, and I’d like to be able to improve by 10 feet,” Ebert said.

She said she wants to push herself mentally for this meet because she tends to stress herself over competitions.

For this next meet and even for the season, Ebert said she would like to become a ranked conference athlete in the javelin throw and said she feels she can now achieve this because she is more flexible and mature in some aspects of her technique than she was last year.

At the 2016 Redbird Invitational, Ebert placed eighth in the javelin throw, missing the top five by a little over nine feet.

The men won last year’s meet, and the women took second behind Illinois State.

The Panthers finished the 2016 meet with eight first-place finishes. Junior Haleigh Knapp had Eastern’s best performance as she set a school record in the high jump after clearing 5’10.5” for a first-place win.

Senior Riley Kittridge won the discus throw with a mark of 148’6.5”. Junior Chrisford Stevens won the triple jump with a distance of 47’11”, and senior Kendall Williams took first in the long jump.

Graduate student Dhiaa Dean won the 400-meter dash in 55.24 seconds. Alumni Janie Howse and Eric Gordon carried the remaining first-place finishes for the Panthers.

Friday’s hammer throw events will begin at 3 p.m., and the rest of the meet will start the following morning with the men’s and women’s discus throw. Running events will begin at noon on Saturday.

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