Swanson to be first Eastern student at NCAA Nationals since 2014

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Molly Dotson

Billy the Panther dances during “First Night” in OBrien Field Sunday Aug. 21.

Adam Tumino, Sports Writer

The Eastern men’s track and field team will have representation at the NCAA National Championships next week for the first time since 2014.

Redshirt-freshman Adam Swanson will be competing in the 800-meter run when the championships are held June 9 through June 12 in Eugene, Oregon.

Swanson will be the first Eastern athlete to compete in the national championships since 2014, when both Peter Geraghty and Mick Viken competed in the pole vault. He will also be the first to compete in a track event since Zye Boey in 2012.

He is the first Panther to compete in the 800-meter run at nationals since Jim Maton in 1987 and 1988. Maton placed third in 1987 and seventh in 1988.

Swanson earned the trip to Eugene through his performance at the NCAA West Regional where he placed third in his heat with a time of 1:49.16, the 12th fastest time in the event.

It also caps a highly successful season for Swanson, who was named OVC Male Track Athlete of the Year and Male Freshman of the Year after winning gold in the 800-meter run in the OVC Men’s Outdoor Track Championship on May 15.

The men’s team won the OVC for the second straight season, and both the men’s and women’s teams had other participants in the NCAA West Regional.

The women’s 4×100 relay team, consisting of Vivica Coleman, Danielle Frank, Zakiya Johnson and Akiya Kollore, placed 16th while setting a new school record with a time of 45.05.

Other male athletes at the regional were Steven Rowe, who placed 40th in the high jump, Joe Smith, who placed 44th in the triple jump, Nick Phillips, who placed 31st in the hammer throw, Dustin Hatfield, who placed 45th in the 10,000-meter run and Riley Baker, who placed 46th in the 400-meter hurdles.

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