Men's Track Edged Out At OVC ChampionshipsSaturday, May 3 2008 - OVC Championships
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Eastern Illinois was edged out of repeating at Ohio Valley Conference outdoor men’s track champions as Southeast Missouri won the title by 2.5 points over the Panthers.
In one the most closely contested OVC Championships ever, SEMO placed first in the 4x400 relay with EIU placing second to win the overall championship. To win title, EIU would have had to score 3 or more points than the Redhawks.
SEMO won with 174.5 points while EIU scored 172. Eastern Kentucky was a distant third with 96.5.
While the title did not fall into the Panthers hands for a tenth time in school history two athletes did take home individual titles while another qualified for the NCAA regional for a fourth straight year.
Sophomore Tyler Arnholt won the discus with a distance of 158’04”. The mark was a personal record for the local product from Mattoon High School as he defeated Josh Uchtman of Southeast Missouri by eight feet.
Dorrian White picked up the other EIU top finish as he battled teammate Joe Noonan to win the pole vault. White cleared a season-best 16’00” to take home the championship.
Also making his mark in his last OVC championship was senior jumper Obe Eruteya. He cleared 50’00” to hit the NCAA regional mark despite finishing second in the event behind SEMO’s Bilal Hameed. Last season Eruteya placed seventh at the NCAA regional in the triple jump to earn All-Region honors.
Junior David Holm also turned in a top performance as he improved upon his personal best in the 800 meters. Holm posted a time of 1:50.57 but was second behind Elkana Kurgat of Eastern Kentucky. Holm’s mark was third best in EIU history and was just shy of the NCAA regional standard of 1:50.40.
Additional EIU athletes scoring points for EIU included: Jason Springer, 2nd in the 1,500 meters; Brenton Emanuel, 2nd in the 100 and 200 meters; Brandon Jelks, 4th in the 100 and 200 meters; TJ Evans, 3rd in the 110 hurdles; Kris Gehrke, 2nd in the 400 hurdles; Chad Aubin, 6th in the 400 hurdles; Ian Winston, 6th in the triple jump; Steve Nwokocha, 4th in the shot put.
The EIU 4x400 relay team placed second while the 4x100 team was third.
The NCAA Mideast Regional is May 30-31 at the University of Arkansas.