Throwers perform well at SIU meet

Blake Faith, Track and Field Reporter

Eastern’s track and field director Brenton Emanuel advises his athletes before every meet to make the most of every given opportunity. His athletes did just that by continuing right where they left off after the OVC Indoor championship by earning 20 top-five finishes including a new school record this weekend at the SIU Bill Cornell Classic.

Sophomore MaKenna Wilson set the school record for the Panthers in the women’s hammer throw with a throw of 173 feet and 8 inches, which placed fifth in the event. It was one of Wilson’s two top-five finishes, as she also placed third in the javelin with a throw of 126 feet and nine inches. 

Clayton Turner and Nicholas Phillips turned in top-five finishes for the men in throws. Turner was fifth in the javelin with a throw of 148 feet and 7 inches. Phillips was fourth in the hammer throw  with a mark of 179 feet and one inch.  Senior Joe Smith placed second in men’s long jump, clearing 23 feet and 1.75 inches.

“MaKenna definitely had an amazing weekend. She has been putting in a lot of work,”  Emanuel said. “It was a decent opener for us. We use this meet as a rust buster. We haven’t competed in four-five weeks; it was great to get back out there and compete.”

On the track, senior Pedra Hicks would contribute two top-five finishes. Hicks would finish third in 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.66 seconds. Hicks was also third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of one minute and two seconds. The women’s 4×400-meter relay of Hicks, sophomore Morgan Atchison, junior Sophia Keith and junior Louisa Rieger finished third with a time of four minutes and two seconds.

For the men, freshman Jekeel Suber would finish second in the men’s 110 meter-hurdle, crossing the line in 15.16 seconds. Freshman Riley Baker placed second in the men’s 400-Meter Hurdles with a time of 55.46 seconds. In the 300-meter Steeplechase sophomore Tyler Lay would finish in third with a time of 9 minutes and 57 seconds.

Eastern’s track and field program will compete next at the EIU Big Blue Classic. The EIU Big Blue Classic will begin Friday at O’Brien Field.

“Our plans going forward are just to continue to work hard and to keep our eye on the prize,” Emanuel said. “I would like to see this momentum to carry over in practice as well. We need to continue to step our game up because no championship will be given to us; we have to go out there and fight for it.”

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