Track, field teams headed to Louisville

Blake Faith, Track and Field Reporter

The Eastern track and field program hopes to bring its momentum from last weekend into this weekend as two groups are being sent to compete in Iowa and Louisville Friday.

Eastern’s Jocelyne Mendoza (11) and Grace Rowan (4) lead a pack of runners at the EIU Big Blue Classic this weekend at O’Brien Field.
Summer Jacobs
Eastern’s Jocelyne Mendoza (11) and Grace Rowan (4) lead a pack of runners at the EIU Big Blue Classic this weekend at O’Brien Field.

Redshirt-freshman Dustin Hatfield finished 27th overall in the 10,000-meter event at the Mt. Sac Relays last weekend with a time of 29 minutes and 31 seconds.

Hatfield was 13th among collegiate competitors in the field, and his time is now the third-fastest in Eastern’s school record list.

Hatfield was named the OVC Male Track Athlete of the Week after his time last week becoming the third Panther to achieve that feat this outdoor season.

Hatfield’s 10,000-meter time sits on top of the OVC list and is 40th in the NCAA West region.

Senior Pedra Hicks built on the individual momentum she has had this outdoor season.

Hicks finished the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.14 seconds.

In the women’s 400-meter hurdle Saturday, Hicks finished 12th with a new personal record of 1 minute and 1.7 seconds, improving her second-place mark on the OVC list.

The Panther duo of sophomore MaKenna Wilson and senior Jasmine Woodley have traded Eastern’s women’s hammer throw record throughout the season, but it has not been broken since the Indiana State Gibson Invitational April 6.

Both competed in the women’s hammer throw at Mt. Sac, and Wilson threw for a mark of 170 feet and 1 inch and placed eighth. Woodley finished ninth with a throw of 169 feet and 3 inches.

“We got a chance to compete against some of the best in country, and it was a great opportunity,” said track and field director Brenton Emanuel. “We will only get better.”

Emanuel wants the athletes on his program to continue to grow in their event as well as move up school record lists, OVC and NCAA region lists.

With the OVC Outdoor Championship only two weeks away, Emanuel believes it is very important to continue the momentum of this season and for his athletes to stay healthy down the stretch.

The track and field program will have one group competing in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Another group will compete in the University of Louisville Lenny Lyles and Clark Wood meet.

“The main thing is just to stay focused on the goals of being in the conversation of a conference championship and getting more athletes into the NCAA first round,” Emanuel said. “Both Drake and Louisville are big meets with great competition they should lead to some great results.”

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