Track notches eleven personal bests

Brie Coder, Copy Editor

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Western Illinois men and women’s outdoor track and field teams couldn’t be beat this weekend at the Tom Botts Invitational. There were many new personal bests that occurred, which is raising the bar for other competitors in the next upcoming weeks.

On Friday, junior Jasmine Swanagan, and sophomores Abigail Richter and Ross Smetzer each posted the best marks for their Leatherneck careers. Swanagan had a 45.79 meter throw in the women’s hammer throw. While Smetzer came in at 16:00.06 in the men’s 5000-meter run, placing him in 12th. Richter too came in at 12th place in the women’s 5000-meter run with a time of 17:58.81.

Freshman Nick Olson had a top-five finish for the Purple and Gold in the men’s javelin, by throwing 51.01 meters. He was the only male athlete to compete in the field events on Friday.

For the women’s field events, freshman C’Andria Campbell tossed the hammer 42.25 meters, which was good for 17th place overall. Freshman Amelia Peterson led four of Western’s female competitors in the women’s long jump, with a mark of 5.05 meters. Following behind Peterson in that event was junior Khalyia Lawson (5.04), sophomore Megan Reed (4.66) and freshman Victoria Adesola (4.38).

In the women’s running events, sophomore Nicole Beebe also competed in the 5000-meter run and crossed the finish line with a time of 18:31.71. For the women’s 1500 run, freshman Hailey Tranchitella posted a 4:51.42 mark, and following behind her was sophomore Jacey Roper at 5:05.64.

Concluding Friday’s events was the men’s 5000-meter run. Like Smetzer, junior Lucas Lingle and senior Grant Kaiser came in on some impressive times. Lingle placed fifth in the event, and Kaiser finished at 16:12.70.

Saturday had the same results, with 11 new personal bests. Many came from the men and women runners. The first to impress her other Leatherneck teammates, was senior Jamieria Stennis. She who was one of the 36 competitors in the 800-meter run. Stennis clocked in at 2:16.84, which placed her in eighth overall.

The next running event, the 200-meter dash captured five collegiate bests. Senior Raytoria Richardson highlighted the event by her tenth place performance at 24.95. Following her was sophomore Bo Brasseur (25.75) and sophomore Rachel Hilton (26.77). For the men, sophomore Justin Montalto came in at 22.34 and freshman Jace Norman with 22.72.

Western also posted a season-high with the women’s 4X400 relay, where Reed, Brasseur, Richardson and Stennis all recorded an effort time of 3:57.59. Rounding up the track events were the hurdles where both sophomore Josh Kirby (15.54) and Adesola (1:13.65) placed third in the 110-meter and 400-meter events.

Three Leathernecks also had top-10 finishes on the final day of the invitational. Senior Jasmine Brown finished in fifth in the triple jump with a 11.49 meter mark. Sophomore Brady Shows had a 42.58-meter throw in discus, placing him in eighth. Lastly sophomore Michael Rinella was the only Purple and Gold competitor in the pole vault. He was able to clear the bar with a height of 4.31 meters.

It was an overall great weekend for the Leathernecks and their momentum will carry on, when they compete in Des Moines, Iowa in the Drake Relays starting this Wednesday and concluding on Saturday.

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