Track and field pulls double duty at Drake Relays and Kip Janvrin Open to prepare for Summit League Championships

Bradley Piros , Sports Editor

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Western Illinois men and women’s track and field teams concluded their regular spring season last week after competing in the Drake Relays. This event is one of the largest in the country hosting competition to multiple NCAA Division I leagues such as the BIG 10, SEC, Missouri Valley and The Summit League. With that being said, Western was up against some tough competition in the four-day meet.

The Leathernecks didn’t compete in a lot of events at the Drake Relays because they were pulling double duty, competing in the Kip Janvrin Open last Friday as well. Both of these events were great preparation for the upcoming Summit League Championships next weekend.

Western only competed in three events at the Drake Relays. The first event of the meet was the women’s 4×200 meter relay. This was Western’s first 4×200 of the season that consisted of Sierra Long, Megan Reed, Amelia Peterson and Bo Brasseur. They set the seventh fastest time in program history with a ninth-place time of 1:41.43. South Dakota finished fourth and North Dakota State finished right ahead of Western out of 25 teams.

Brasseur and Long teamed up with Raytoria Richardson and Jamieria Stennis in the sprint medley where they posted a time of 4:14.88. They finished sixth out of seven teams. NDSU came in fourth followed by South Dakota, Western and South Dakota State. Both of those women’s events were a good preview of some of the competition Western will be up against next weekend.

The only male competitor to compete on the day was freshman Gabe Cheeks in the long jump with a mark of 6.69 meters.

The Kip Janvrin Open is also a pretty large meet, but Western scheduled both of these meets for a reason: to prepare for the Summit League Championships. Lots of athletes were able to compete for Western between the two meets which is always a plus.

Senior Khalyia Lawson placed eighth out of 40 competitors in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.62 seconds while freshman Aijah Venerable finished 12th, clocking in at 12.68 seconds. Cheeks competed in the same event but in the men’s division and finished 12th as well out of 44 competitors with a time of 11.13 seconds.

Venerable also competed in the 200-meter dash finishing 22nd out of 69 total competitors with a time of 26.45 seconds. Sophomore Dyllan Bonk placed 13th out of 53 in the same event in the men’s division with a time of 22.53 seconds.

The highlight of the Kip Janvrin Open was junior Justin Montalto. He first competed in the 400-meter dash where he placed fourth with a time of 49.30 seconds. Later on he teamed up with Lucas Hofer, Terrance Bruce and Johnny Dickson in the men’s 4×400-meter relay where they took first place with a time of 3:23.11. It was Western’s lone first place finish between the two meets.

Western picked up another podium finish when freshman Jasmine Stokes took third in discus out of 26 competitors with a throw of 41.66 meters. Junior Allison Richter took 10th in the same event (38.01 meters). Eric Fox and Brady Shows placed 10th and 11th in the men’s division with throws of 44.75 meters and 43.77 meters, respectively.

In the hammer throw, Stokes finished eighth out of 29 competitors (42.73 meters) while junior Carrissa Tinsley finished one spot ahead of her with a 43.55-meter effort. Shows also came eighth but out of 25 competitors with a throw of 43.44 meters.

Tinsley was back in action in the shot put where she took fifth of 24 with a 12.23-meter throw. Sophomore Nick Olson took eighth in the same event in the men’s division with a mark of 14.46 meters.

Finally, sophomore Allie Scott took fourth in the triple jump with an 11.25-meter leap, while freshman Tyronay Taylor finished eighth (11.08 meters).

The Leathernecks had lots of success in the field events and seem to be well prepared for what’s to come. They host the 2019 Outdoor Summit League Championships where they’ll compete against the other seven teams in conference. It will be a three-day meet that begins a week from today. If you aren’t too busy with finals, come on over to Hanson Field to cheer on your Leathernecks track and field teams.

Twitter: bradjp08