By Brandon Roberts/Sports Writer
Tom Samuels Track was the site of the Eastern Kentucky Open on Friday. Eastern won 17 total events -10 for the men and seven for the women.Eastern’s Chris Franklin won the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. A time of 51.55 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles was good enough to put him into the NCAA Regional. He also posted a 14.61 in the 100-meter.
The 3000-meter steeplechase saw Brent VanOrsdel post the winning time of 10 minutes, 23.79 seconds, and Eastern’s James Machungo posted the 5000-meter winning time of 15:44.14.
Marvin Elmore was victorious in both of his events, winning the 100- and 200-meters with times of 10.64 and 21.60. Six of the top-10 finishers in the 100-meter dash were Colonels. Along with the first-place finish by Elmore, Dallas Robinson finished fourth, Dan Pallex sixth, Mike Halliwell seventh, Steve Gannon ninth and O’Brien Bridges 10th.
A handful of the 200-meter dash’s top finishers were also the men in maroon. Along with Elmore capturing the win, Robinson finished second and Aaron Coney finished fourth.
Eastern earned two more first-place victories in both the 4×100- and 3×400-meter relays. Eastern posted a 4×400 time of 3:16.19, which blew away second-place finisher Centre College who ran the event six seconds slower.
Two Colonels finished in the top five in the 400-meter dash. Pallex finished second with a time of 49.14, and Halliwell fifth with 49.92.
Eastern also had quite a showing in the field events. Elijah Rader’s discuss throw of 149 feet, 3 inches was enough to beat out Centre’s Justin Atkins by 16 feet. Adam Hunter finished fourth in the event.
Eastern’s Jon Walker took first place in the long jump competition with a distance of 22-08.
Eastern competitors took hold of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth places in the shot put event. Rader was third with a throw of 40.90.00. Tristan Blackburn nabbed the fourth slot, Hunter was fifth and Jeremy Reynolds was sixth.
A pair of Colonels grabbed second-place finishes in two more events. Daniel Kor finished second in the 800-meter run and Steve Maina finished second in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:55.68, his personal best.
“Chris Franklin ran very well and qualified in two events,” coach Rick Erdmann said. “Marion Elmore and Steve Maina had excellent performances. Dan Pallex pulled a hamstring, which was really the only downer of the day.”
It was Eastern’s day in the women’s competition as well. Eastern had four competitors in the top three finishers in women’s 100-meter hurdles. Cynita Hoskins captured first place with a time of 14:48, and second place belonged to Ebony Jones with a time of 15:01. Onyinyechi Chuku and Lacy Turner both had times of 15.46, which left them tied for third.
Chuku’s time of 1:04.78 was good enough to capture first place for her in the 400-meter hurdles.
The 1,500-meter run saw three Colonels in the top five finishers. Tiffaney Cartwright’s time of 4:47.51 was the fastest of all competitors earning her the first-place position. Courtney Engle and Kellie McClung were third and fourth in the 1,500-meter run respectively.
The 4×400- and 4×100-meter relays were two more victories earned by Eastern.
Hoskins’ time of 12.75 was the fastest time of any Colonel in the 100-meter dash and was good enough to earn her a third-place finish. Jones’s time of 25.81 in the 200-meter dash earned her third place, and Allison Smith finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.61.
Eastern claimed yet another second-place finish in the 5,000-meters when Molly Dattilo ran the event in 18:17.2.
The field events saw Eastern claim two more victories. Jones’ jump of 5-06 in the high jump earned her first place, and Turner won the long jump with a jump of 17-08.50.
“I felt we had good performances overall,” Erdmann said. “We lack depth.”
Erdmann is optimistic about this weekend’s event in Louisville.
“It will give us a tune-up before we start the conference.”
Eastern will travel to compete in the Louisville Invitational April 24. The Penn Relays will take place April 22-24 in Philadelphia, and some Eastern runners will be eligible to compete in that event.