Track and field look forward to outdoor season opener at Southern Illinois

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Track and field look forward to outdoor season opener at Southern Illinois

Becca Langys/Photo Editor

Becca Langys/Photo Editor

Becca Langys/Photo Editor

Titus Perez, Courier Staff

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CARBONDALE, Ill. Western Illinois University men’s and women’s track teams will be back in action for the first time since the indoor championships. They are hoping for a good showing at the Southern Illinois University Invitational.

This meet will be the team’s first outdoor competition of the season. They are coming off several successful indoor championships, where they took home three medals. Junior Josh Kirby won third place bronze in the 60-meter hurdles, while junior Bo Brasseur performed a second place finish in the long jump, taking home the silver medal. Junior Michaela Busch also earned a silver medal in the pentathlon. The three medals helped the Leathernecks finish sixth overall in the event, which helped them gain steam heading towards the outdoor season. Freshman Sierra Long had a solid outing as well, running a 57.79 in the 400-meter dash and qualifying for the finals of the event, where she placed eighth. She is also one of the core members of the 4×400 relay team that placed well at the Eastern Illinois University Invitational earlier this year. The outdoor season is a new beginning for the team. With that, Western fans will get to see for the first time football standout Isaiah “ZeekLesure at the outdoor track invite. LeSure and the team hope his leaping ability and speed he used on the field will translate to the track; if it does, it will be a big boost for the Leathernecks. He’s already shown his promise, winning an event at EIU’s Invitational in the high jump.

Kirby and Brasseur hope to lead their team as well toward a successful outdoor season. Brasseur is involved in several events, including the 4×400 relay team; this could give the Necks a chance to score plenty of  points. Nine other Division I schools will be competing at this meet. However, Western’s toughest competition will come from the University of Purdue Boilermakers and University of Illinois as each of them compete in the powerhouse Big-10 conference. If the Purple and Gold can perform well against these two schools, then head coach Diana Wholey should feel comfortable going into The Summit League Championships. The SIU Invitational is set to begin today at 3:30 p.m. and wrap up late Saturday evening.

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