Taylor, Eskridge, Lynes lead Western

Garrick Hodge Assistant Sports Editor

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First-place efforts by high jumper Jamario Taylor and runners Chelsea Lynes and Krystle Eskridge were among the individual highlights for Western Illinois at its first two indoor track competitions of the new year.

The Leathernecks’ men’s and women’s teams traveled to Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 14 to compete against four other schools, including the host Hawkeyes, at the New Year’s Classic. Although no team scores were kept, host Iowa dominated the meet, winning 26 out of 30 events (12 of 15 on the men’s side, and 12 of 15 on the women’s side).

Western then took part in the Elite Invitational last Saturday in Madison, Wis.

The Leatherneck women took third out of five teams with a score of 105.50, and Western’s men placed third out of four teams, scoring 114 points. The host Badgers won both the men’s (150) and women’s (157.50) team titles.

Leathernecks head coach David Beauchem said he was impressed by his team’s performance at the New Year’s Classic.

“We had a good opener,” Beauchem said. “I think we are in very good shape coming back from the break. The warm weather has been great.

“Specifically, the performances by Jamario Taylor, Nathaniel Marshall and Chelsea Lynes ranked very well on Western Illinois’ all-time performance list. It is a credit to their hard work to hit those marks so early after returning to campus.”

Taylor, whose 6-11 high jump effort last February is fourth-best in program history, took first place in the men’s high jump in both meets, jumping 6-10-3/4 each time.

Lynes won the Elite Invitational women’s 800-meter run in 2:15.28. At the New Year’s Classic, Lynes placed second in the 1,000-meter run in 2:54.38, which ranks as the second-fastest performance in program history and a personal best for Lynes.

Eskridge was victorious in the women’s 600-meter run at the Iowa meet with a time of 1:40.08.

Also at the New Year’s Classic, sophomore distance runner Michael Castel set a personal best (4:27.85) with a sixth-place finish in the men’s one-mile run. In the men’s 400-meter dash, junior Jordan Liles placed fifth with a personal-best time of 52.06.

Western sophomore Kirsten Bryant finished second at Iowa in the women’s 60-meter dash in 7.97. Also, senior Amy Byers took second in the women’s 200-meter dash (:27.05). Freshman runner Cedric Cheeks finished third for Western in the men’s 200-meter dash in :22.23.

Senior Dana LaRue placed second in both the women’s shot put (44-5-1/4) and weight throw (55-7) at Iowa. Sophomore Zach Glasebrook finished third in men’s long jump (22-3/4). Sophomore thrower Nathaniel Marshall finished third in the men’s weight throw (59-3/4).

The Elite Invitational was the Leathernecks’ third competition of the indoor track season, which culminates at the Summit League Championship on Feb. 24-25.

Glasebrook placed second at the Wisconsin meet in the men’s long jump (22-6-1/2), and senior Paul Hames took second in the men’s weight throw (59-1-1/4).

On the women’s side, Bryant took third in the women’s 60-meter dash in 7.95, just ahead of teammate junior Danielle Gunn in fourth (8.04).

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