Track: Emanuel, other athletes battle weather

Monday, April 14 2008 - Lee Calhoun Memorial

Panthers capture second, third place in Macomb

By: Dan Cusack/Sports Reporter

Posted: 4/14/08

Hurdlers practice during an overcast day in March at Lantz Arena. (John Bailey/The Daily Eastern News)

The Eastern men's and women's track teams didn't just compete against in-state rivals Western Illinois and Northern Illinois at the Lee Calhoun Invite this weekend.

They also had to contend with the weather while finishing second (men) and third (women) in Macomb.

The weather was not ideal as the pole vault and high jump events were moved indoors because of wind and cold.

Eastern's men's team (150 points) finished 18 points behind winner Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

The men were led by a solid day from senior sprinter Brenton Emanuel. Emanuel won the 100-meter dash (10.69 seconds) and 200-meter dash (21.68 seconds).

"This is the first time in two years I'm actually feeling healthy," Emanuel said. "Each week I keep feeling better and keep getting stronger. If I keep this up, I think I can do big things when (the conference tournament) comes around."

Eastern sophomore sprinter Brandon Jelks finished second in the 100-meter dash (10.72 seconds) and third in the 200-meter dash (22.28 seconds).

Sophomore distance runner Eric Pedersen won the 5,000-meter run in 15 minutes, 38.57 seconds - nearly eight seconds faster than his teammate freshman Mario Catrejon.

In the steeplechase, sophomore distance runner Aaron Iaun beat teammate freshman Derek Ericson by six seconds as Iaun won the event in 9:53.82.

The Eastern women's team finished in third place with 140 points, and it was another big weekend for sophomore thrower Kandace Arnold.

Arnold won the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 3 inches, finished in fifth in the hammer throw with a mark of 148'2'' and finished in seventh in the discus with a mark of 127'1''.

Despite the win, Arnold said she was not happy with her performance.

"For shot, I am not happy with how I did," Arnold said. "I want to throw 148 (feet). I know I can. I did it in the indoor season. I am getting better in the hammer throw, and discus - I don't know what is going on. Hopefully, I'll have it better for conference."

Arnold said the weather was freezing, and it was misting and raining the entire meet. She said it was hard to get a good performance in throwing events with the weather.

The Eastern women's 400-meter relay team beat SIU-E by eight-hundredths of a second to win the in 48.28 seconds.

Junior hurdler Samantha Manto won the 400-meter hurdles by nearly three seconds in 1:04.95.

Fellow junior hurdler Chandra Golden also fared well in the weekend's events. Golden won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.23 seconds.

Emanuel said he was pleased with the way the Panthers performed in Macomb.

"I think we did a great job," Emanuel said. "No one complained, and we excelled in a number of different events."

The men's and women's teams will compete next at the Vanderbilt Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

Dan Cusack can be reached at 581-7944 or at

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