Rowan climbs all-time ranks at weekend track invite

Oscar Rzodkiewicz, Assistant Sports Editor

Senior Grace Rowan moved into seventh in Eastern history for the one-mile run after taking home the Panthers’ lone top finish at the Iowa Recreation Building for the Black and Gold Premier this weekend.

Rowan’s time of 4 minutes, 56.26 seconds was a personal best for her this year. She previously cracked the Eastern all-time top 10 in the same event at the John Craft Invite with a time of 4:58.28.

The reigning All-OVC First Team cross country runner also now leads the conference in the one-mile with her top time.

Rowan was not the only Panther to make a splash in the OVC leaderboards at the weekend premier, as freshman Shanisa Stinson now sits in second in the conference standings in the 60-meter hurdles with a 8.86 finish, good for fifth at the invite.

The women’s team had other top-ten finishers over the weekend, including freshmen Akiya Kollore and Zakiya Johnson who took ninth and 10th, respectively, in the 200-meter, while sophomore Chloe Irish and senior Jocelyne Mendoza took nine and 10th in the 800-meter.

All four of those runners’ times were season-bests, with Kollore and Johnson now ranking 13th and 14th in the OVC, respectively, and Irish and Mendoza sitting at eighth and ninth in the conference for their weekend efforts.

In the field, junior Makenna Wilson took home two top-ten placements after a 53-7.00 toss in weight throw notched her seventh place and a 42-11.5 throw in the shot put awarded her ninth.

On the men’s side, no athletes took home first place for the Panthers, but senior Joe Smith led the pace by taking second place in the triple jump with a 48-6.75 jump, still shy of his 50-7.5 distance from the John Craft Invite.

Senior Shandall Thomas left his personal mark with a 6.76 time in the 60-meter preliminaries, and although he placed last out of all finalists, his prelim time still gives him the No. 1 slot in the OVC for the event.

Junior Tadiwa Mhonde moved up to second in the conference for the 400-meter with a time of 49.18, good for sixth-place over the weekend.

Freshman Adam Swanson managed fourth place in the 800-meter with a time of 1:54.42. He remains second in the OVC for the event from his time at the Illini Invitational.

Senior Nicholas Phillips also took fourth place for his 58-4.75 toss in the weight throw, his best of the season and good for fifth overall in the conference.

Both the men’s and women’s teams compete again Friday and Saturday for the two-day Notre Dame Meyo Invite in South Bend, Indiana.


Oscar Rzodkiewicz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]