By Jason Finnell

Traveling to the University of Cincinnati this past weekend, Eastern’s track and field team put on a strong showing with men’s finishing fourth out of 18 schools and women’s finishing seventh out of 1 – albeit without All-American Jacob Korir, or newcomer Shannon Davis. Despite not having two of their key cogs, Eastern was able to place in the top five in eight events at Cincinnati.

Korir, participating in Palo Alto, Calif. in the Stanford Invitational, broke an Eastern record in the 10,000 meters last Saturday with a time of 28 minutes and 4.47 seconds. The time was one of the country’s best, and it automatically qualified Korir for a spot in the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in June.

Korir’s performance over the weekend earned him OVC co-Runner Of the Week. Korir is currently ranked first in the country in the 5,000 meter.

Davis, not competing because of spring football practice, has already qualified for the NCAA regionals in the 100 meters, assistant Coach Tim Moore said.

Sophomore Elkana Kurgat led the way for the men, winning the 800 in 1:52.55 and the 1,500 in 3:55.65, respectively.

Junior Nick Landis finished third in the 200 with a time of 21.88, and crossed the finish line for fifth in the 100 with a time of 10.87.

For the women, senior Nichel Eubanks finished fifth in the 100 with a time of 12.55. Also in the 100, freshman Emily Burton came in 28th with a time of 13.71. Freshman Jasmyn Norris placed third in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.15, along with sixth-place finisher Tashana Johnson who completed the race in 15.33.

Assistant Coach Tim Moore said he was happy with the team’s progress.

“We keep improving each weekend,” Moore said. “As long as we’re improving, we’re getting better. When May comes around (when the OVC championships begin), we should be OK.”

The Colonels return to the track this weekend, April 10-12, in the Volunteer state at the University of Tennessee Sea-Ray Relays.