Knapp breaks own Eastern high jump record again

Alex Hartman, Track and Field Reporter

Eastern senior Haleigh Knapp broke her own record for the second time this season Saturday at the Illinois Classic.

She earned her fourth first place finish in a row with her jump of 6-feet-.50. She broke her own record for the first time at Illinois Jan. 13. Her jump at 6-feet kept her atop Eastern’s women’s high jump record.

It was the second time that Eastern has visited U of I to compete, this time the men earned third in the meet and the women earned fourth.

She ranks first in the OVC for high jump as well. She has high hopes as the season goes on.

“Every centimeter counts when you are trying for indoor nationals,” said Knapp. “I’m hoping this height cements me a spot for indoor nationals.”

After winning the EIU John Craft Invite Jan. 20, the Panthers’ meet at the Illinois Classic was the opening meet of their string of two-straight road meets before returning home one week before the OVC Indoor Championships, which is also hosted by Eastern.

The Panthers have a two-day meet at the Notre Dame Meyo Invite, before the Grand Valley State Big Meet Feb. 9. Eastern’s Friday Night Special wraps up the indoor regular season.

Both sides for the Eastern track team had a good display at a highly contested meet that featured the teams of Illinois and Louisville. Eastern finished with nine top three finishes and four first-place finishes overall.

Senior Brion Portis earned her first place in triple jump with a distance of 38-11.75.

Some other first-place finishes included senior Chrisford Stevens with his triple jump of 48-feet-02.75. This placed him second in the OVC in the men’s triple jump. Junior sprinter Shirley Jones also earned first with a time of 55.98 in the 400-meter dash, which placed her third overall in the OVC for the event.

Eastern had second-place finishers as well with graduate student thrower Ryan Pearce in the shotput and senior sprinter Darneisha Spann in the 60-meter hurdles.

Eastern track returns to action Friday and Saturday at Notre Dame for the Meyo Invite.

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