As the indoor track and field season starts to hit the midseason stretch, the Western Illinois University team will look to the University of Illinois for their next opportunity for improvement.
The meet begins Friday with the heptathlon and pentathlon with a number of in-state rivals competing including Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and the host. Western is coming off an early season meet at Missouri University up against some SEC competition and will look to stay tough against their rivals.
Western will not see any competitors in the first day of the meet. Early Saturday morning, the first Leathernecks will compete in Women’s weighted throw. Despite having four athletes competing, all eyes will be on Carissa Tinsley who finished in the top 10 at Mizzou. She will also compete in the shot put and discus.
The competition on the men’s side will come from Illinois who is ranked No. 15 and looking to dominate their home field. Distance runner Logan Lommel, who placed third at his last event, is going up against Fighting Illini Jon Davis who just ran his second sub-four-minute mile. Lommel, who has never run sub four, will look to place against some of the toughest competition he will see all year.
The toughest competition on the Women’s side will come from Louisville. They are ranked No. 20 and the outstanding favorites at the Illini invitational. Star Leatherneck Bo Brasseur will look to leap forward against star student-athletes. She will be participating in the long jump, and possibly the 400-meter dash. Look for her to challenge herself at this meet and test her barriers.
Another Leatherneck to watch will be Tia Dorshorst participating in pole vault. She placed second at the Missouri Intercollegiate meet and will face even tougher opponents at Illinois. She set her personal record with her last attempt and will look to go even higher next time. Look for an interesting uphill battle for Dorshorst in what should be an exciting day.
Western Illinois has tough competition at this meet. Making the podium at any event will be a wonderful accomplishment for the team. This will be an opportunity to see the local competition and see where they stack up. Knowing that Summit League opponent University of South Dakota is currently ranked No. 23 on the men’s side is worrisome for Western’s chance come March.