Necks run off to Missouri

Brie Coder, Copy Editor

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Western Illinois University track and field teams will head down to the University of Missouri’s turf to compete in the Tom Botts Invitational this Friday and Saturday. This will be their fifth outdoor competition of the season

Last Saturday, the Leathernecks traveled to Normal, Ill. and took fifth out of six in the Redbird Invite. It was all about breaking previous personal records, as freshman Nick Olson finished No. 1 during day one of the invite. Olson took part in both the shot put (14.81 meters) and javelin (49.68 meters). For being an individual competitor, his endurance was up to par this past weekend.

Seven members of the Purple and Gold competed in the 200-meter race, and six came out with some strong PR’s. Senior Raytoria Richardson received a ninth-place finish with 25.25. Following Richardson was sophomore Michaela Busch (26.43), freshman Claire Young (26.49) and sophomore Rachel Hilton (27.01). Each of these ladies set new collegiate bests. For the men’s 200-meter race, sophomore Justin Montalto and junior Darius Patterson broke their previous set times with new ones this past weekend, with times of 22.63 and 22.70.

Sophomore Abigail Richter upped the ante, by clocking in at 11:22.52 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She currently has the sixth-best time in Leatherneck history. Richter was just seconds off on Saturday competing in the same event with 11:24.38.

In the hurdles competition, sophomore Josh Kirby placed fourth in both the 3,000 and 110-meter hurdles. Wrapping up the new and approved PR’s is sophomore Bo Brasseur, who took fourth in the 400-meter dash with 49.46.

The Missouri Tigers are quite the rivals for Western to have. Last weekend, the track and field teams of Missouri traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. and participated in the John McDonnell Invitational. Their records did not disappoint.

Last Friday, Mizzou posted two top-five finishes. Senior Mark Sheridan finished fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:00.81. Sophomore Faramola Shonekan followed right behind as she finished in the women’s 800-meter run at 2:20.45.

Additionally, redshirt junior Will Fife came in second with a personal best mark of 52.14 meters in the men’s discus. For the women’s discus, redshirt junior Gabi Jacobs won the event with the season-best throw of 55.42 meters. This was her third consecutive win for the outdoor season. She also adds this new personal best to her school, as this is the newest school record to beat.

On Saturday, the Tigers would continue breaking records in the field events, with Fife finishing in first place in the shot put with 17.82 meters. Junior Karissa Roman also took first in the high jump with 1.70 meters.

For the track events, redshirt freshman Karina Liz crossed the finish line in the 800-meter run with a third place finish, and a new personal best time of 2:10.78. Freshman Chris Conrad also finished in third in the men’s 800-meter run at 1:51.26.

This weekend will have a lot of highlights and possibly new personal bests for both the Tigers and Western. The events will kickoff on Friday at 4:30 p.m.