Track and Field set new school records and PR’s


Josh Purnell/ Courier Staff

Josh Kirby runs a hurdles event at last year’s Lee Calhoun Invitational.

Bradley Piros , Sports Editor

ALLENDALE, Mich. — The Western Illinois University men’s and women’s track teams took place in the Grand Valley State Big Meet over the weekend and came out the other side a much stronger team. The weekend was highlighted full of new PR’s, top ten finishes and new school records.

This meet included 40 different schools from all across the country, and Western was able to finish 12th overall. Individually, the men’s team tied for ninth. These finishes were the best the Leathernecks have ever finished in this meet, setting a new school record.

Kicking things off was junior sprinter Bo Brasseur who set a new indoor record in the long jump event (6.02 meters). Junior distance runner Nicole Beebe recorded a new PR with a time of 10:07.76 in the 3000-meter run which puts her in at the 7th best time in program history.

The men’s and women’s 4×400 teams both recorded season bests. The team of Terrance Brice, Dyllan Bonk, Justin Mantalto and Josh Kirby took third place for the men with a time of 3:26.73 while Sierra Long, Michaela Busch, Megan Reed and Brasseur came in fourth (3:58.21).

Freshman Gabe Cheeks had Western’s best finish of the weekend when he took second place in the long jump with a mark of 6.81 meters. Staying with the field events, junior thrower Allison Richter finished 9th out of 52 competitors with a distance of 12.87 meters. Nick Olson took 10th out of 30 athletes in the men’s division with a throw of 14.83 meters.

Josh Kirby was one of Western’s only athletes to make it into a finals event. He placed 4th out of eight in his main event, the 60-meter hurdles. Last time out at the Don DeNoon Invitational, he set a new PR with a time of 8.28 seconds. He wasn’t able to improve upon himself, barely slowing down and running an 8.39 to finish in the middle of the pack.

For as big of a meet as this was, Western had a good showing. They didn’t have a lot of athletes competing, but the ones who were showed up well prepared and gave it their all.

Western only has one more regular season indoor meet and it’s tonight. The Leathernecks will take part in the Eastern Illinois University’s annual Friday Night Special. It’s their last showing before the Summit League Championships which will take place outdoors at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.

After that, Western will have about two weeks off before they kick off their outdoor season on March 23. It’s a rare year when the Leathernecks will host two home meets. The first is April 19 in the annual Lee Calhoun Memorial. The second will be when Western hosts the Summit League Outdoor Championships beginning May 8.

A lot to look forward to, but for now both the men’s and women’s teams will be focusing their attention for tonight. They have some work to do before the Summit League Championships and hopefully they can work out the last few kinks at EIU.

Twitter: bradjp08