Track: Youth performing well in early part of seasonWednesday, January 21 2009 - EIU Mega Meet
Wally Swenson/Staff Reporter
Eastern was carried by nine first-place finishes between the men and women's indoor track and field teams at the Early Bird Meet at Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse on Dec. 12.
The men were led by four freshmen that placed first while four winners who are upperclassmen led the women's team.
DeMarcus Brooks, a freshman from Springfield, finished first in the 60-meter dash in 6.75 seconds. Kandace Arnold won the shot put with a throw of 46 feet, 2.75 inches. Arnold, a junior from Evergreen Park, also finished second in the 20-pound weight throw with a throw of 52 feet, 8.25 inches. Tyler Carter, a freshman from Tuscola, finished second in the 60-meter hurdles race in 8.38 seconds.
Both Eastern squads finished second in the Early Bird Meet with a 2-1 dual record with wins against Western Illinois and Butler.
"We definitely had some young guys step up in the Early Bird," senior Clint Coffey said. "We had a lot of guys perform exceedingly well. Every squad that we put in a race performed extremely excellent."
Panthers look at conference
With conference a couple weeks away (on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28), both squads are also focused on the Ohio Valley Conference Championships at Lantz Fieldhouse.
"As a team we showed up to run at our first meet, and we definitely can improve by practicing hard and taking care of business on and off the track," freshman distance runner Brittany Arthur said. "The first meet was definitely an opportunity to get our feet wet, and it was the first step toward preparing ourselves for conference."
The Eastern indoor women's track and field team won its only conference title during the 2006-07 school year. The men's indoor track and field team has won the past 10 of 12 indoor league titles, but had its seven-year consecutive streak of winning league titles snapped last season.
"Conference is our No. 1 goal as a team, and we would love to take (care) of business and return to the top of the mountain," Eastern head track coach Tom Akers said. "In the first meet we had a good start, and we must keep hungry and carry a chip on our shoulder."
The Panthers return to action as early as this Saturday at the EIU Mega Meet located in the Lantz Fieldhouse.
Team earn league honors
After the Early Bird Meet, three Eastern track athletes earned Athlete of the Week Honors by the OVC. Carter, Chandra Golden and Zye Boey all earned league honors.
Boey, a red-shirt freshman, was named the OVC Male Track Athlete of the Week for his performance at the EIU Early Bird on Dec. 12. Boey won the 200-meter dash in 21.94 seconds, the seventh fastest time in Eastern history.
He also placed third in the 60-meter dash in 6.84 seconds. Carter was named the OVC Male Co-Field Athlete of the Week after winning the long jump at the EIU Early Bird with a jump of 23 feet, 3.5 inches. He finished second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.38 seconds.
Golden, a red-shirt junior, was named the OVC Female Athlete of the Week after winning the 60-meter hurdles at the EIU Early Bird in 8.71 seconds.
Golden also finished fourth in the 60-meter dash in 7.66 seconds.
Wally Swenson can be reached at 581-7944 or at email@example.com.