Indoor track season to start season at U of I

Alex Hartman, Track Reporter


The men’s and women’s Eastern track and field team had a good warm-up meet before winter break, with them competing at home in the EIU Early Bird.

The meet featured some regional competition in Indiana State, Illinois State, Western Illinois and Loyola (Ill), and had EIU finishing in third place and Indiana State taking first. It was a meet in which the team could shake off the offseason rust and see some talent of the new additions to the team.

The team had an overall good showing as there were nine top three finishes led by the consistent senior high-jumper Haleigh Knapp with her first-place finish of 1.78 meters and a first-place finish by senior sprinter Davion McManis in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.82. McManis also earned second in the long jump with a distance of 7.00 meters.

There were also a handful of other top three finishes including junior Brandon Lane’s second place 200-meter run, and sophomore thrower Nick Philips’s third place in in the weight throw.

Now that winter break is over the team looks to the University of Illinois for their first meet of the new year at the Illinois Classic. The meet will feature teams from around the region with teams like Butler, Notre Dame, Saint Louis, Western Michigan and Southern Illinois competing in the past year’s meet.

The month-long break for the athletes was needed, but now it is time for their time to shine in the indoor track and field season. Last year the men’s team finished fifth in the Illinois Classic, and the women finished in fourth place. The team had 13 total top three finishes in the meet, so that is a goal to beat in this year’s competition.

“Our team is confident and ready for this meet. Many events and athletes are looking good, like the hurdles, sprints, distance and throwing,” coach Tom Akers said.

The throwers have retained a majority of their athletes from last season, and added a promising freshman from Charleston on the women’s side, MaKenna Wilson. The distance runners are looking for a good year after resting for the initial meet in December, and will look to return to form in their return to action.

The Illinois Classic will take place Friday and Saturday Jan. 12 and 13 with field events starting at 1 p.m.

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