Track and Field conclude successful indoor season at Summit League Championships

Michaela Bush soars a for a silver medal in the high jump event.


Michaela Bush soars a for a silver medal in the high jump event.

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BROOKINGS, S.D. — This year’s indoor Summit League Championships didn’t disappoint, as the Western Illinois track and field teams succeeded in making one last statement to the rest of their conference before kicking off the outdoor season. The two-day event held at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, S.D. provided multiple Leathernecks with hardware after some memorable efforts. Coming into the competition, the Purple and Gold would have their sights set on capturing their first second-place-or-better finish since the 2003 indoor Summit League Championships.

Leading the charge for the Leathernecks on day one of the event was junior Michaela Bush. She secured the team’s first silver medal in the pentathlon, shattering the school record with an eye-popping score of 3,676 points. Whose record did she break? She broke her own, for the second time already this season. This was all thanks to dominant performances in both the high jump (1.65 meters) and the shot put (11.43 meters). However, Bush wasn’t done there. She capped the first round of the event off with two more personal all-time records in 800-meter run (2:24.89) and the long jump (5.37), where she finished third and sixth in her heat.

Track and field is a sport of inches, and that came to show in the long jump. Junior Bo Brasseur put her vertical ability on full display, clearing the mark of 5.87 meters, which would be good enough for a first-place finish on most days. That wasn’t the case here, however, as South Dakota State took home the top prize after eclipsing Brasseur’s score with a 5.98-meter leap. While Brasseur was narrowly edged by her foe, she still walked away with a silver medal of her own.

On the men’s side of things, senior Josh Kirby punched his ticket to the final round in the 60-meter hurdle with a time of 8.33 seconds, good for fifth place in the preliminary race. In turn, freshman Dyllan Bonk continued his impressive rookie campaign for the Leathernecks. He placed eighth in the 60-meter dash, crossing the finish line after 7.03 seconds.

The final round of the meet began on Saturday with Kirby itching to secure yet another medal. He came through in the 60-meter hurdle finals, bettering his time from the previous day with an 8.28-second finish. It’s been quite the career for Kirby, who now has four medals throughout his time at Western Illinois, one bronze and two silvers.

Women’s thrower Carrissa Tinsleyforced her way into Western’s record books in the shot put with a 14.03-meter toss, sixth-best all-time for the school. Although this performance stood out, she placed just eighth in the event, showing the stiff competition the Leathernecks were up against throughout the entire competition.

When it was all said and done, the Purple and Gold walked away from the indoor Summit League Championships with six all-time program marks. Surely an impressive feat, the team will have this to build on as the outdoor season inches closer.

The Leathernecks will have ample time to prepare for their first outdoor meet of the season. On March 23, they’ll head to Carbondale, Ill. for the Southern Illinois Invite.

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