Eastern track and field returns home for “Friday Night Special”

Alex Hartman , Track reporter


The indoor track and field season is winding down and the men and women of Eastern track and field are returning home this week to compete at the Friday Night Special in the Lantz Fieldhouse.

The track team will host a handful of schools that will include Bradley, Evansville, Indiana State, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Kentucky Wesleyan, Lincoln College, McKendree and Millikin.

This meet will mark the last meet before the OVC Indoor Championship. The team will have a well earned rest, not having to travel for the last two meets of the season, as the OVC Championships will also be hosted at Eastern.

The team competed Grand Valley State for their annual “Big Meet,” where there were many top finishes by Eastern athletes.

Junior Joe Smith earned a first place finish in the long jump. His new season best jump of 23-feet-07.25 moved him into third place in the OVC in the event. Then in the women’s 3000-meter run senior distance runner Maria Baldwin finished 12th place with a time of 9:53.96, but the time moved her into third in Eastern history in the event.

Junior Pedra Hicks earned third place in the 400-meter dash last week with her time of 57.58, and that finish was good enough to move her into seventh place all time in Eastern history.

The throwers for Eastern have been performing well the past few meets as well, especially graduate student Ryan Pearce, who has had two top five finishes in the shot put, placing fourth last week and third the meet before that. Last week junior Clayton Turner posted a sixth place throw of 50-feet-02.00.

At the Friday Night Special last year, the men finished in first place and the women finished in second place. Eastern dominated sprinting events such as the 400-meter and the 60-meter dash as well, claiming first place in both and three top 10 spots in the 400-meter as well.

Eastern will host their annual Friday Night Special Friday, with field events scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

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