Track and field with new PR’s in meet

The runner makes her way through the hurdles.


The runner makes her way through the hurdles.

Bradley Piros, Courier Staff

CARBONDALE Ill. – The Western Illinois track and field teams headed down state to take part in their first outdoor event of the season against the Southern Illinois University Salukis. The meet included seven personal bests for Western and a Leatherneck all-time mark.

Summit League Preseason Athlete to Watch Michaela Busch (sophomore) had a pair of those personal bests in the javelin with a mark of 101’ 10.25” (31.04 meters), and in the 100-meter hurdles (15.5 seconds).

She also found herself on the podium with a first-place finish in the high-jump (5’ 5” or 1.65 meters). That mark tied her for ninth place all-time for Western.

She managed to do all that in some relatively terrible conditions. “The weather was less than ideal, cold, wet, breezy at times, and we had a bit of a hard time managing through it in some events. There were some shining moments though,” said assistant coach Nick Maas.

Nothing is worse than a windy and cold track meet. However, the conditions didn’t matter as five Leathernecks set new personal bests.

This was Westerns first meet in a little over a month, so the main goal was to get back into the swing of things. “The goal of the first meet of the year is to get outside and bust off the rust after a break between seasons. How a team will react to the elements are always an unknown. We definitely need to work in that area. However, the team and coaches are eager to get better in week two,” Mass said.

Continuing on, freshman Amelia Peterson led the way in three events. She was the Leathernecks best hope in the triple jump (11.18 meters) and the long jump (4.98 meters). She also raced a 13.12 in the 100-meter dash.

Three other women captured best finishes as freshman Victoria Adesola marked 10.56 meters in the triple jump, sophomore Abigail Richter recorded a time of 4:57.02 in the 1500-meter race and sophomore Nicole Beebe in the 5000-meter run (18:09.71).

Beebe finished seventh out of a whole 22 athletes that ran that event. Not only did she finish close to the best, but she also recorded her personal best.

On the men’s side freshman Nick Olson recorded Western’s best finish of the day as he reached second in the javelin throw (46.19 meters). Sophomore Josh Kirby and senior Josh Thomas both competed in the 110-meter raced and finished fifth and seventh respectively out of 15 total competitors.

The final two PR’s came from freshman Jace Norman and junior Darius Patterson in the 200-meter run with times of 22.77 and 22.68 seconds respectively.

This meet was only individual meaning there were no relay events. Western will look to start getting on the podium more and picking up those valuable points to start winning meets. They have another chance to figure things out and find their feet this weekend when they head down to Southeast Missouri.

The Leathernecks only home meet will be April 5-7 as they compete in the Lee Calhoun Memorial and continue their outdoor season as it begins to take full swing.

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