Eastern traveling to Illinois for Twilight meet


Jaylin Harrison

Eastern freshman Riley Baker prepares to run in the EIU Big Blue Classic on March 30 at O’Brien Field. Eastern is traveling to Illinois on Saturday for a meet.

Blake Faith, Track and Field Reporter

Eastern’s track and field program hopes to take the momentum they created at the Indiana State Gibson Invitational and apply it to the Illinois Twilight at the University of Illinois on Saturday. 

Eastern finished the Indiana State Gibson Invitational with two first-place finishes, 13 top-three finishes, and replaced another school record.

Track and field director Brenton Emanuel has stressed to his athletes that they need to take advantage of every opportunity this season.

With his athletes taking that opportunity and producing seasonal best and personal records, Emanuel said that this will help the program’s chances at the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championship in May.

“The team’s confidence continues to grow after the meet last week and with another good week of training,” Emanuel said. “I’m excited for this group. We are headed in the right direction. I truly believe the results will continue to reflect that.”

This season the women’s hammer throw school record was broken and replaced three times in the first three outdoor meets.

Easten’s track and field program, through the first three outdoor meets, has combined for 35 top-five or better finishes, including a three-week consecutive school record swap and an athlete who replaced her own record and has won her last two events.

Sophomore MaKenna Wilson broke Eastern’s women’s hammer throw school record with her throw of 173 feet and 8 inches at the SIU Bill Cornell Classic. At the EIU Big Blue Classic senior Jasmine Woodley replaced that record with a throw of 178 feet and 6 inches.

Wilson reclaimed the record last weekend when she finished fourth in the event with a new record throw of 180 feet and 8 inches.

“I think it’s great and it’s every coach’s dream,” Emanuel said.

“Those two young ladies are doing a great job. One reason why athletes continue on with track and field college is to be pushed by their teammates to become the best they can be. I’m excited to see who ends up with it at the end of the year.”

On the track, senior Pedra Hicks has won her last two races in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

At the EIU Big Blue Classic Hicks improved the school’s record and her personal best when she finished first with a time 59.40 seconds.

At Indiana State, Hicks won the event with a time of 1 minute and 1 second.

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