Panther men, women get Big Blue wins

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

O’Brien Field was the site of the EIU Big Blue Classic Friday. Both the Eastern men’s and women’s track teams picked up wins in the event, the second win for the men’s team in the outdoor season and first for the women’s team.

Condensed to a one-day event due to weather concerns, the meet got started at 10 a.m. Friday. By the time it ended, the Panthers had collected 11 individual first-place finished and won three of the four relays on the day.

For the men’s team, sophomore Adam Swanson continued his strong season with first-place finishes in both the 1,500 meter and 800 meter runs with times of 3:50.72 and 1:50.97 respectively.

Swanson had been named OVC Male Track Athlete of the Week twice this season and leads the conference in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:47.66 which he set at the Texas Relays on March 25.

Junior Nick Oakley 1,500 meter run with a time of 3:57.14.

A pair of Panthers stood out in the 100-meter dash with redshirt-senior Shandall Thomas and freshman Brailyn Johnson placing first and second with times of 10.58 and 10.59 respectively.

Thomas leads the conference this year in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.52 and Johnson moved into second place in the conference with his time Friday.

Redshirt-sophomore Mason Jones picked up a first-place finish in the steeplechase with a time of 9:49.98, the sixth-best time in the OVC this season, while junior Jekeel Suber and Riley Baker won the 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles respectively.

Both Suber and Baker now lead the OVC in these events, Suber with a time of 14.28 and Baker with a time of 52.56.

The last two first-place finishes for the men’s team belonged to senior Jaime Marcos in the 5,000 meter run and redshirt-sophomore Will Bullock in the 10,000 meter run. Marcos posted a time of 14:27.91, with teammates Franky Romano and Richie Jacobo finishing second and third with times of 14:29.89 and 14.37:98.

This puts Marcos, Romano and Jacobo in fourth, fifth and eighth in the OVC in the 5,000 meter run.

Bullock finished the 10,000 meter run with a time of 31:50.06 with teammate David Thompson finishing second at 32:26.20.

There were three-first place finishes for the women’s team as well.

Sophomore Danielle Frank won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.04, the eighth-best mark in the conference this season.

Graduate transfer Emily Montgomery won the hammer throw with a mark of 175’, moving her into third place in both the conference and Eastern history.

Senior Makenna also threw her way up the Eastern and conference leaderboards with a win in the discus. Her throw of 105’4” ranks fourth in the OVC and seventh in school history.

Senior Kate Bushue picked up a pair of second-place finishes in the 800 meter run and 1,500 meter run.

Sophomore Akiya Kollore finished second in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 14.19, putting her in second place in the OVC and tying her for eighth in school history.

Eastern also performed well in the relay events Friday.

The men’s team placed first in both the 4×100 meter relay and 4×400 meter relay with times of 3:17.72 and 41.53 respectively.

The women’s team won the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:51.74 and finished third in the 4×100 meter relay with a time of 49.12.

Both teams will be back in action April 16 and 17 in Terre Haute for the Indiana State Gibson Invite.

It will be the second time in two weeks that the Panthers will be competing at Indiana State after meeting the Sycamores in a dual meet on April 3.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]