The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Aldridge and Swanson finish race first at EIU Walt Crawford Open

Zaria Flippin
Fifth year runner Adam Swanson, runs to the finish line on Friday afternoon at the EIU Walt Crawford Open.

The Panthers’ cross-country teams ran at the EIU Walt Crawford Open on Friday afternoon.

Eastern’s women’s team finished with a score of 27, beating Indiana State, Vincennes, and Kaskaskia College.

The women’s team finished first as a result of performances from senior Mackenzie Aldridge and freshmen Bella Marcum and Brenda Torres, who were the top three runners for EIU respectively. Junior Kylie Haack and seniors Sarah Carr and Alex Gomez cemented the win for Eastern with all six runners finishing on the top 10 list.

“Everyone’s excited when they see a teammate win in the race, you know, they can see going around all the turns how well she did,” Howarth said about the effect Aldridge’s dominant race had on the Panthers.

When Marcum was asked what the pre-meet routine is, she said her team tries to lock in before the race.

“It’s more about locking in, we do an easy group run, talk with our team and kinda zone in,” Marcum said.

Eastern’s men’s team came in second place with a score of 36. The Sycamores beat the Panthers with a score of 23.

The men followed fifth-year runner, Adam Swanson, who placed first in the men’s 8k with a gap of 6.1 seconds between him and the next runner.

Swanson held this position the entire race, saying it was part of his game plan to get out in front early.

“In a smaller race like this I like to get out quick,” Swanson said.

Three runners from the Panthers were in the top ten: Swanson, sophomore Micheal Atkins and senior Richie Jacobo.

Swanson reflected on his strong lead and the mental challenges that come along with it.

“Being strong mentally I feel is a big thing when you go out like that, and you’re just trying to push the pace and make everyone chase you,” Swanson said. “You’re betting on yourself… most of it is in your head for sure.”

Coach Howarth gave some input on the advice she gave her runners out on the track.

“Today was quite hot, so I feel like a lot of people were ‘tight-faced, tight shoulders’ and not staying calm and relaxed,” Howarth said. “If they looked tight, I’d say make sure they relax the mind and relax the face and the shoulders… I’d also give them some insight like two quick steps around this post, or let’s fly down this hill, or next time I see you get up to the guy in front of you.” 

Eastern’s next meet is the Illinois State Redbird Invite in Normal, Illinois on Friday, Sept. 15.

The women are scheduled to run at 5 p.m., and the men are scheduled to follow at 5:45 p.m.

Aidan Cusack can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Zaria Flippin
Zaria Flippin, Sports Editor
Zaria Flippin is a junior sports media relations major. This is her first year at The News.

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