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


This poll has ended.

Do you treat student evaluations seriously?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Loading Recent Classifieds...

EIU track athlete to compete at Nationals

Ramsey Hunt competes in the men’s long jump category for the second day of EIU Big Blue Classic. Hunt finished 12th at the NCAA West regional meet. (Ashanti Thomas)

In the last decade, only three athletes from Eastern Illinois have graced Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Championship.  

Two of the three athletes consist of pole vaulters, Michael Viken and Peter Geraghty, who competed in 2014. It would take another seven years until another Eastern athlete took the stage. This was current fifth year long distance runner Adam Swanson, who competed in 2021. 

These three athletes remained alone as Easterns only National entries in recent memory. That was until senior jumper Ramsey Hunt qualified for Nationals at the NCAA West Regional meet, held May 22 at the University of Arkansas.   

“Today was about trying to survive and advance,” said head coach of Track and Field James Gildon. “You know, he did just that; in dramatic fashion, as he typically does.” 

Dramatic fashion aptly describes Hunts battle for a spot at Nationals.  

The long jumper got his spot after placing 12th at the West Regional meet. To qualify for Nationals as a long jumper, you must place in the top-12 at one of the regional meets; The 13th jumper in regionals does not make the cut. Hunt earned the last possible spot for the 2024 Nationals. 

“You got 48 of the top jumpers on the West (region), so the West was a little bit more dense this year in terms of long jump, very competitive,” said coach Gildon. “It went all the way until the last jumper of the competition to know if we got in our not. Definitely a suspenseful evening.” 

Last season, Hunt was ranked sixth in the west region for long jumping. Despite his high ranking, he did not make it to Nationals due to his showing at regionals, as he placed 39th. 

This year, Hunt was ranked 13th in the region. 

“For us, when it’s your time, then it’s your time,” said coach Gildon, when reflecting on Hunt’s 2023 season. “You just have to stay patient and keep grinding away.” 

Gildon went on to note that Hunt is a hard worker and a leader in Easterns track and field program. 

“This couldn’t be happening to someone who doesn’t dedicate themselves to being a Panther, we’re all about Panther pride,” said Gildon. “I’m really excited for him to be getting this opportunity, based on all the work and the hours he put in.” 

The National Championships will be held June 5 to June 8 at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Hunt will compete in the long jump, which will be held at 6 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, June 5. 


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

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest