Track: Records fall at weekend track meet

Thursday, February 5 2009 - Illinois Intercollegiate

Wally Swenson / Staff Reporter

The Eastern men's and women's track team keep setting records.

It happened this past Saturday at Lantz Fieldhouse when the Panthers hosted the Illinois Intercollegiate meet.

"Records fell all over the place on Saturday, and if we keep this up as a team, who knows what we will be able to accomplish," senior Clint Coffey said. "We're all starting to get a hang of the competition. We are all focused on our goals and preparing ourselves for conference."

Red-shirt freshman Zye Boey and senior David Holm are some of the top runners in the nation at the Illinois Intercollegiate track meet on Saturday in Lantz Fieldhouse.

Boey, a sprinter, ran a 6.66 second 60-meter dash, which ranks him seventh in the nation. Holm also hit the NCAA provisional mark in the 800-meter run in a time of 1 minute, 49.6 seconds.

The mark is an NCAA provisional mark. The provisional mark means they are now on a waiting list to see if he can compete at the NCAA National Indoor Championships from March 13-14 in College Station, Texas.

Junior Kandace Arnold, an Evergreen Park native, smashed her school record in the weight throw for the second time this season with a distance of 59 feet, 9.75 inches at the EIU Mega Meet on Jan 24.

Arnold was also named the Eastern female student-athlete of the month by Eastern's athletic department.

Freshmen focus on weekend

The freshmen on the Eastern men's track and field team will get to see a high level of competition and will be able to compete at a fast track this weekend.

The Panthers will travel to South Bend, Ind., this Friday and Saturday to compete in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational. The meet will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday in the Loftus Center.

"We are ecstatic about the opportunity we have this weekend to showcase our abilities," freshman middle-distance runner Sean Wiggins said.

Wiggins ranks fourth all-time in the 800-meter run (1:52.35) in Eastern history.

"I have heard from the upperclassman that the Notre Dame track is hard to beat," freshman hurdler and jumper Tyler Carter said. "I cannot wait to perform at that type of stage."

The Panthers' distance medley relay squad set the Eastern school record there last March (9:45). The Loftus Center contains a 320-meter track, the largest indoor track in the U.S. A longer track makes for less tight turns, which makes it easier on the runner and they run fewer laps.

Other freshmen that will be excited on the opportunity to travel to Notre Dame this week are Boey and freshman DeMarcus Brooks.

Boey, a Decatur native, won all four races in which he has competed.

He was also named the Eastern male student-athlete of the month by Eastern's athletic department. Boey has also won Ohio Valley Conference track athlete of the week three times this season.

Brooks, a Springfield native, is third all-time in the 60-meter dash and seventh in the 200-meter dash in Eastern history.

Opportunity at hand

With the OVC event record releases on Tuesday, the Eastern men's team has the top spot in eight events.

"Having such talented underclassman has made this season have capabilities that many of us could only have dreamed of," Coffey said. "Our team is like a train, and when this train gets going full speed we need as many people on it as we can to go along for the ride."

The Eastern women's team has the top spot in five events.

"If the season keeps shaping the way it is, who knows how much fun this could be," junior Jason Springer said.

Wally Swenson can be reached at 581-7944 or at