Men and Women's Track and Field: Personal, season bests posted at Iowa StateMonday, February 15 2010 - Iowa State Classic
Kevin Murphy/Staff Reporter
Eastern track and field head coach Tom Akers calls Megan Gingerich a quiet leader of the women's track and field team.
He said she goes out on the track and motivates others with her performances during competition.
On Saturday, Akers noticed the red-shirt sophomore did not look well before the 800-meter run during the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreational Center in Ames, Iowa.
Akers had to hand her a cup of water and some napkins.
She went on to to post a career best in the 800-meter run (non-seeded) by finishing in fifth in 2 minutes, 13.50 seconds.
Nebraska sophomore Brook Dinsdale won in 2:10.88. Gingerich was 27th place a year ago in the same event by running 2:19.05.
"She cleaned up and had about 30 seconds to gain her mental composure," Akers said.
Gingerich's time is the second best mark in program history behind Lauren Lynch's 1987 time of 2:12:54.
She was the third leg on the 1,600-meter relay team which finished in 3:50.94.
The mark is the fourth best in school history, and freshman Andrea Fabiano, senior Caitlin Finnegan, sophomore Bridget Sanchez and Gingerich helped achieve that feat.
Sanchez posted an indoor personal best in the non-seeded 400-meter dash with a ninth-place finish of 57.72, the third-best mark in program history.
Akers said Sanchez ran a faster split in the relay.
"There's something about it when a kid gets a baton in their hand," Akers said.
Junior Darren Patterson continued to excel as the top sprinter this season for the Eastern men's track and field team. Patterson was eighth in the 400-meter dash in 48 seconds, which ranks fourth in program history.
Patterson finished in eighth place in the 200-meter dash (21.76).
His time moved him up to seventh on the Eastern career top 10 list and surpassed his previous season best of 21.81.
Senior Marcus Williams finished in 13th place in 48.23, the eighth-best time in program history.
Patterson and Williams also ran two legs of the 1,600-meter relay as Eastern finished in fifth place in 3:12.80 behind Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and Oral Roberts.
Sophomore Sean Wiggan and senior Wes Sheldon also ran legs of the relay as the time was just 0.13 tenths of a second slower than the mark set by the foursome last week at Notre Dame which ranks fourth on the Eastern list.
Sheldon would run a season best in the 800-meter run in 1:53.21.
Freshman Graham Morris capitalized with his first collegiate win and a season best with a victory in the 3,000-meter run (non-seeded) in 8:42.18 on Friday.
Morris' time would rank seventh overall in the Ohio Valley Conference before this weekend's results.
Akers said Morris' performance helped jump start the team for Saturday.
"He did a really good job of staying in there," Akers said. "He's just really tough in the latter stages of the race."
Junior Donald Romero entered his name in the program top 10 list in the 35-pound weight throw.
Romero moved into 10th place with a distance of 54 feet, 9.5 inches.
"He's got a lot of adjustments to make," Akers said. "It was nice to see him get a breakthrough."
Sophomore Queenie Adeboyejo posted another personal best with a leap of 39 feet, 5.25 inches in the triple jump, which placed her fourth.
"Her jumping mechanics are great," Akers said. "(However), she's struggling on the runway."
Adeboyejo's best jump came on the last attempt in the finals of the event.
Sophomore Brittney Arthur finished 18th in the 5,000-meter run (non-seeded) in 18:34.94. This is also Arthur's season and personal best. Her best previous time this
season was 18:51.31.
"She could've gone much faster than that," Akers said.
Akers said the official counting her laps screwed up, and Arthur was confused on how many laps she had left.
The Panthers return to action Friday evening when they host the Friday Night Special at Lantz Fieldhouse.
Kevin Murphy can be reached at 581-7492 firstname.lastname@example.org.