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

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Jacobo out for Redbird Invite as Panthers adjust without key runner

The men’s cross-country team has to quickly adjust after senior Richie Jacobo injured his foot during Tuesday’s morning practice.

“I stepped on a hard surface on a small incline,” Jacobo said. Jacobo has been ruled out for the upcoming meet on Friday.

“He rolled his foot pretty bad on the uphill during our morning workout,” fifth-year runner Adam Swanson said.

However, throughout practices, the Panthers continued to improve ahead of the Illinois State Redbird Invite.

Eastern finished as a team in second place at the EIU Walt Crawford Open.

Swanson finished in first place with a final time of 25:01.8, leaving a 6.1 second gap between the second-place runner, Indiana State’s Ethan Breen.

Eastern’s top seven runners outside of Swanson: sophomore Michael Atkins (25:33.2), Richie Jacobo (25:37.0), sophomore Mason Stoeger (26:24.5), freshman Joseph Stoddard (26:28.2), sophomore Noah Schalliol (26:29.3) and junior Sam Nowak (26:31.3).

Sophomore Aidan Gonzalez did not compete in the Walt Crawford Open due to illness. Gonzalez is excited to compete for his first time this season.

“I’m super pumped,” Gonzalez said. “I think the team is well prepared. We ran this course last year, and I think everyone is looking strong and ready to compete.”

The Panthers finished in second place at the Illinois State Redbird Invite last year behind Wartburg.

Stoddard said he’s seeing his improvements as well as the overall team’s improvements.

“It’s really nice to have a good group of guys to work with,” Stoddard said. “We’ve been progressing as we’ve been going along.”

Gonzalez said that he feels like his health is improving heading into Friday’s meet.

“My heart rate has been improving, and my legs are feeling fresh,” Gonzalez said.

Swanson said the team has the ability to do well in the invite despite losing one of their top runners in Jacobo.

“I think as a team, I think we can definitely turn some heads and have a pretty good finish upfront,” Swanson said.

Stoeger said he hopes that his teammates step up because of Jacobo’s injury.

“We have to be very tight,” Stoeger said. “Stuff like this can happen at conference, so it’s kind of prepping us. If Richie has a bad race at conference, someone has to step in, so this is kinda of like a simulation if one of our top runners run bad, what we’re going to do and how we’re going to respond.”

The Illinois State Redbird Invite will take place at the Weibring Golf Course in Normal, IL. Men’s cross-country will begin their race at 5:45 p.m.

Zaria Flippin can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
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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