Track: Noonan, White expect big weekend

Thursday, April 3 2008 - EIU Big Blue


Panthers to host second outdoor meet of the season

By: Dan Cusack/Sports Reporter

Posted: 4/3/08

Sophomore pole-vaulter

Dorrian White

and freshman pole-vaulter

Joe Noonan

aren't worried about their competition this weekend at the Big Blue Classic at O'Brien Stadium.

"I think we should do really well," Noonan said. "We faced off against Indiana State last week and finished one and two. I think we should be able to take top honors again."

Noonan, the Ohio Valley Conference freshman of the week, and White finished in first and second respectively at the year's first outdoor meet last weekend against Indiana State.

They said the only other teams competing in pole vault are junior colleges and Wisconsin.

Both said they knew little about Wisconsin, but were confident they would compete well against them.

Noonan was the OVC Field Indoor Freshman of the Year as he won the pole vault with a mark of 15 feet six inches.

White was not far behind placing second in the championships with a mark of 15 feet.

However, both competitors admit the transition from the indoor season to outdoor season has been rough.

"It's difficult dealing with wind conditions," White said. "When you hold that big pole up in the air and all that wind is coming, it's hard to run. We're getting used to it as we are out here and practice more."

White said wind and weather have the most effect on pole-vault than on any other track and field event.

White and Noonan will be the only two Eastern athletes competing this weekend.

The Panthers will be hosting an outdoor meet for the second time this season.

The event begins Thursday with heptathlon events and decathlon events that will run Thursday and Friday mornings.

The two-day meet will then begin at 2 p.m. Friday with the men's hammer throw. The event will end on Saturday with the men's 1,600-meter relay.

This will be the second outdoor meet this season for the Panthers. Last week, 13 individuals took home first place finishes at the EIU Invite in O'Brien stadium.

Like many Eastern athletes

Ty Vandekerkhove

is looking to get experience this weekend.

"My goals are just to improve from last week," said Vandekerkhove, a freshman jumper. "I did not do real great. I team preformed real well however. I hope this weekend we can perform to the best of our abilities."

Temperature and weather have forced the men's and women's track team to train inside for a few of the first weeks of the season. The last two weeks the weather has been better for the Panthers, and Vandekerkhove said the team is getting more used to competing outside.

"We are definitely getting better," he said. "The weather is warming up and we are getting more adapted to it. Our bodies are just starting to get used to it."

Dan Cusack can be reached at 581-7944 or at

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