Eastern performs well at John Craft Invite

Alex Hartman, Track Reporter


The Eastern men’s and women’s track teams both came away with wins Saturday at the Panthers’ annual John Craft Invite.

The men’s team finished in first place with a combined score of 151. The women’s team also took first, doubling second place Southern Illinois Edwardsville’s score of 91, with 188 points.

Eastern used its home field advantage as it had a total of 10 first-place finishes as a team.

Both the men and women dominated the competition that included Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Western, Saint Louis, and Tennessee-Martin.

The home atmosphere gives the team a boost and makes them more confident going into the meet.

“I love the comfort of competing at home. It takes a lot of pressure off and calms our nerves,” senior high jumper Haleigh Knapp said.

The men’s side had a highlight from senior sprinter Davion McManis as he placed first in two events. His 60-meter dash at 6.94 seconds earned him first and his 200-meter time of 22.69 seconds also earned him a first place finish.

There were two more first place finishes by the men in field events, including senior Chrisford Stevens earning first in the triple jump with a distance of 47-feet 02.25. Senior teammate Kendall Williams finished right behind Stevens in the triple jump for second place.

Another first place finish for the men included the graduate student Ryan Pearce in the shotput, his throw of 51-feet 11.25 was followed by junior teammate Clayton Turner with his second place throw of 50-feet 08.25.

Haleigh Knapp also continued her streak of first place finishes, as her jump of 5 feet 8 was good enough for her to top the competition once again.

“It was (good) getting another first place finish, but I wish I could have jumped just a couple inches higher this weekend,” Knapp said.

Even though she did not break another indoor track record she was content with her first place effort at home.

Eastern track will compete in a week once again at the Illinois Classic Friday and Saturday.

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