Track and field, swimming to compete this weekend


File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern sophomore Jarod Farrow swims in a meet against Saint Louis last October in Lantz Arena. The Panthers compete on the road at Indiana State Dec. 7.

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

Although Eastern men’s and women’s basketball have their seasons in full swing, other Eastern winter sports are either starting or continuing their play this weekend.

The Eastern men’s and women’s track teams have their winter season starting Friday. The teams host their annual Early Bird Meet, which kicks off at 2:00 p.m. Friday.

At 2 p.m., the men’s and women’s shotput events start things for all the schools in attendance. The other field events will follow shortly after. The running events will begin at 3:40 p.m.

The schools visiting the Lantz Fieldhouse Friday for the event are as follows: Western Illinois, Illinois State, Maryville and Bradley.

The track teams lost some seniors who provided a lot of wins and experience for the team last season, but they also have a lot of returning talent for the upcoming season.

For the men’s team, Tadiwa Mhonde, who competes in sprints, returns as one of the better performers last season.

Also returning are Dustin Hatfield, Marcus Skinner and Franky Romano, who all compete in distance races. Jekeel Suber and Riley Baker return for hurdles races, and Joe Smith (triple jump) and Clayton Turner (shotput) also return.

All eight of those athletes were All-OVC honorees last season.

The women’s team does not have as many returning All-OVC honorees, but four of them are back this season for the Panthers.

For distance events, Grace Rowan and Avani Flanagan return for the Panthers.

MaKenna Wilson, who set the school record for the hammer throw in the spring season (197’ 03’’), also returns for the Panthers.

At one point in the spring season, Wilson and fellow hammer throw teammate Jasmine Woodley, broke each other’s school record three weeks in a row.

The fourth and final returning All-OVC honoree for Eastern is Marie Koch, who competes in the discus event.

Last year at the Early Bird Meet, Eastern had 11 athletes get first-place finishes.

The Eastern men’s and women’s swimming teams already started their current seasons, but they have not competed at an event in nearly two weeks.

The teams are 1-3 so far this season, and Saturday at 4 p.m., both teams will compete on the road against Indiana State.

The teams’ lone win so far this season came in a home meet Oct. 5 against Valparaiso, in which the Panthers won 123-86.

Since then, Eastern has lost three straight events to Evansville, Saint Louis and Ball State.

Indiana State holds a 2-0 all-time record over Eastern. Just the women’s team will travel to the relay meet.


Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]