Eastern track teams ready for indoor season


File Photo

Eastern sophomore Morgan Atchison runs the 400-meter hurdles at the EIU Big Blue Classic at O’Brien Field on March 30 of last seasob. Atchison finished in 12th place in a time of 1 minute 8.36 seconds.

Blake Faith, Track and Field Reporter

The Eastern men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams are eager to open their season this Friday at their annual pre-holiday Early Bird Meet hosted inside the Lantz Fieldhouse.

This year’s teams will look a little different from the year’s past.

Tom Akers retired after leading the program for the last 24 years. Taking over as the director of track and field is former Eastern track athlete and assistant coach Brenton Emanuel.

Emanuel will become just the third director of track and field in the history of the Eastern program.
Along with a new track and field director are 24 new freshmen to the track and field program.

Though there is a lot of new athletes and a new director, there are still a mix of veterans ready to compete and make the most of this season.

“With the new director of track and field (Emmanuel) and big freshman class our goal is to continue to improve in our own specific events while maintain that family/team effort and encouragement,” Senior Ashton Wilson said. “That will hopefully lead us to taking home the trophy for both indoor and outdoor OVC Championships.”

Wilson’s junior season was negatively impacted by a knee injury. Although his injury impacted last year, Wilson knows this year is different.

“This year I would like to remain as healthy as possible,” Wilson said. “My junior season took a huge turn, because I was not taking care of my body and utilizing the resources I had. I would like to see myself jump 6’5” or better in the high jump to set myself up for improvement through the rest of the season. This would be a good base, and I could move up from there.”

Last year’s indoor track season saw the men finish 2nd and the women finish third in the 2018 OVC Championship meet. This year’s team is looking to build on that result.

“The goal every season is to win championships,” Sophomore Jaime Marcos said. “Last year we fell short as a team on both the men and women’s side for indoor and outdoor track. The team was disappointed, but things happen, and the team wasn’t as deep and strong as it is now.”

Marcos redshirted his indoor season last year and only competed in six outdoor meets. This season he is looking forward to improving on his health and his results for the team.

“My biggest goal is to contribute to the team; I want to score points on the conference team and make a difference on the track,” Marcos said. “I want to make my team proud and opposing teams nervous.”

Eastern will compete against Western Illinois and a few other schools. The Early Bird Meet will begin with the field events at 3 p.m., and the running events will begin at 4 p.m.

Blake Faith can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]