Track, field boats multiple winners

Alex Hartman, Track and Field Reporter


The Eastern Friday Night Special this past weekend marked the last competition before the track and field team heads into the OVC Championship.

The indoor championship meet will take place again at Lantz Fieldhouse as it did last year. It will feature select athletes from the men’s and women’s teams that qualified.

Last year’s indoor conference meet was a success for Eastern that ended with both the men’s and women’s team winning the meet and Eastern head coach Tom Akers being named Men’s Coach of the Year.

Eastern was looking to build momentum going into the final meet of the indoor season as they took on Bradley, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Indiana State and Kentucky-Wesleyan among others.

The Eastern women’s team finished second overall, while the men’s finished in first place. The team ended with 11 total first place finishes in events.

The great finish for the team was led by junior Grace Rowan, who earned first place in the 800-meter with a time of 2 minutes 17.92 seconds. Then sophomore Maddy Gil earned first place in the 400-meter hurdles with her time of 1:10.79.

The distance runners were feeling a strong day coming on Friday as well, as distance coach Erin Howarth had confidence in her runners and felt a good day was ahead of them.

“Maria Baldwin has been running great and consistently. Kate Bushue has been coming on strong as well and I think she should have a good mile here today,” Howarth said.

Freshman Kate Bushue did indeed have a good race at the meet, as she finished in first place with a time of 5:12.04.

Meanwhile, senior Haleigh Knapp continued her dominant run in the high jump with her first place finish with a jump of 1.75 meters.

Also in the field events, senior Chrisford Stevens finished first in the triple jump with his distance of 14.88 meters.

On the women’s side, senior Brion Portis won the triple jump with her jump of 11.98 meters.

Both sides of the track and field team found success this past Friday and will look to bring the momentum of the top finishes into the conference meet.

“We are looking to build confidence going forward, and we have gotten better meet after meet; hopefully this trend will continue going into conference,” Howarth said.

The OVC Championship will take place Friday and Saturday in the Lantz Fieldhouse.

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