Track, field hitting the road to face Western Illinois

Alex Hartman, Track, field reporter


It has been a long road for the Eastern track and field team this year and they are now at the midway point in the outdoor season.

After a dominating home meet two weeks ago and a third place finish at the Illinois State meet, the team is now ready to head to Macomb for the Western Illinois Lee Calhoun meet. However, a few of Eastern’s top runners will not be there because of the Mt. Sac Relays in California this weekend.

The meet at Western starts at 9 a.m. Saturday with running events scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Besides Eastern and Western, the meet will include Chicago State, Augustana, Albion, Cornell College, Monmouth College, Quincy and Lincoln College.

A few of the Eastern athletes that will be competing in California this weekend include senior men Riley McInerney in the steeplechase and Jamal Robinson running the 100-meter dash.

For the women, senior distance runners Kristen Paris and Julie James will compete in the 800-meter. Fellow senior distance runners Ruth Garippo and Ivy Handley will also compete at the relays in the 5,000-meter race.

Besides the weather, Eastern track and field has been heating up this outdoor season and looks to continue the trend this weekend.

The weather can either positively or negatively affect the athletes during the outdoor season.

“There is more space overall compared to the cramped fieldhouse, the fresh air helps a lot while running and is just overall a different feeling,” junior steeplechase runner Caroline Collet said.

At the previous meet Eastern continued to get top place finishers. Overall the Panthers had 18 top-three finishers highlighted by first place finishes by junior jumper Haleigh Knapp, and junior jumper Chisford Stevens. Knapp got first place in the high jump clearing 5’8.75” and Stevens won the men’s triple jump with a mark of 46’2”.

The throwers showed their power again as they captured multiple top three finishes, with senior thrower Bryn Buckwalter earning second in the hammer throw with a mark 164’6.75”, and her shot put mark was third with a mark of 45’10.50”.

The previous OVC male Field athlete of the week, last weekend junior Davion McManis came in second in the long jump with a distance of 24’2.25”, which was second for the event.

The next meet for Eastern will be at the University of Illinois Saturday, April 22.

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