Track and field set to host OVC championship Friday

Alex Hartman, Track and Field Reporter

The indoor track and field season reaches an end, as the Ohio Valley Conference Championship meet is Friday in Lantz Fieldhouse.

On Feb. 16 at the Eastern Friday Night Special, the team built some good momentum heading into the final meet of the indoor season as the men finished in first place and the women finished in second.

There was an explosion of top finishes from both sides of the team and quality finishes from most of the events. From the distance runners, led by freshman Kate Bushue who earned first place in the mile, to field athletes like senior Kendall Williams who won the long jump, the team performed well on their home track.

There was a total of 11 first place finishes from Eastern athletes at the Feb. 16 meet.

The men and the women will have a chance to repeat as OVC champs since both came in first last season. The men’s team would win their third consecutive indoor title and the women their second consecutive title if they win this weekend.

They look to be in good shape having a handful of athletes in the top three in the OVC in their events, with the 60-meter dash featuring Eastern as the top place holder by way of senior Davion McManis and the third place spot filled by junior Brandan Lane. Lane also is third in the OVC in the 200-meter dash.

A bright spot for Eastern last year in the throwers has taken some blows from athletes graduating and injuries, but new talent hopes to reestablish Eastern as a top team in throwing events.

“We are looking for bigger marks and improvements, but better yet more confidence,” said coach Jessica Sommerfeld. “Ryan Pearce is doing great in the shotput, he is one to watch for.”

Another bright spot on the track team going into the championship has been senior high jumper Haleigh Knapp, who was named OVC Field Athlete of the year and an Eastern record holder, setting a height of 6-feet-.50. Her best height this season also ranks 12th the NCAA.

The team will compete in the indoor OVC Championship Friday and Saturday with qualifying events starting at 9 a.m. both days, and 2:30 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday for scoring events.

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