Eastern sending 9 to Mt. Sac Relays

Blake Faith, Track and Field Reporter

Eastern’s track and field program is sending nine of its best athletes to compete in the Mt. Sac Relays in Torrance, California Friday and Saturday.

Abby Fisher (left) and Jocelyne Mendoza (right) run next to each other in a race during the EIU Big Blue Classic March 30 at O’Brien Field.
Summer Jacobs
Abby Fisher (left) and Jocelyne Mendoza (right) run next to each other in a race during the EIU Big Blue Classic March 30 at O’Brien Field.

Three women and six men will be competing.

The three women are senior Pedra Hicks, sophomore MaKenna Wilson and senior Jasmine Woodley.   

This year Hicks has finished every race in third place or better. Hicks will compete in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.  She is currently ranked 17th in the NCAA West Region in the 400-meter hurdle event and second in the OVC standings with her time of 1 minute and 1 second.

Wilson and Woodley have traded the school record for the women’s hammer throw back-and-forth.

Wilson broke Eastern’s school record with her throw of 173 feet and 8 inches at the SIUC Bill Cornell Classic. Woodley replaced that record with a throw of 178 feet and 6 inches a week later at the EIU Big Blue Classic.

Wilson reclaimed the record again a weekend later, at the Indiana State Gibson Invitational, when she finished fourth in the event with a new record throw of 180 feet and 8 inches.

Wilson and Woodley will both compete in the women’s hammer throw. Wilson will also compete  in the women’s shot put and women’s discus throw

“I think those three and many others are what’s helping us build a strong foundation for years to come,” said track and field director Brenton Emanuel. “In every event area we have a lot people doing great things and I’m truly excited about this year and the years to come.”

The six men are senior Brandan Lane, sophomore Tadiwa Mhonde, redshirt-freshman Dustin Hatfield,  junior Marcus Skinner, senior Joe Smith, and junior Nick Phillips.

Lane and Mhonde will both compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints.

Lane currently ranks first in the OVC in the 100-meter with his time of 10.68 seconds, and Mhonde is second in the OVC in the 100-meter dash with his time of 10.69 seconds.

Distance runners Hatfield and Skinner will both run their first 10,000-meter run of the season.

In the field events, Smith and Phillips will compete for the Panthers.

Smith will compete in the long jump and triple jump. Smith currently has the second-best OVC and 43rd-best triple jump mark in the NCAA West Region with his jump of 22 feet and 7 inches.   

Phillips will compete in the men’s hammer throw event. Phillips is currently second in the OVC standings for his hammer throw mark of 185 feet and 8 inches.

Emanuel has told all of his athletes since he took the position last fall to take advantage of every opportunity and after the indoor season’s end that he would not be satisfied until the Panthers are back on top.

Emanuel’s continued goal this season has been for the Panthers to continue to move up the Eastern, OVC, and NCAA West region record lists and win an OVC Championship in May.

The Panthers will compete against athletes from UCLA, University of Arizona, Iowa, Oregon, Florida State and Washington State.

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