By Jonathan Stark
Following standout performances last week at the EKU Invitational, the Colonel track and field team traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Relays.The meet featured 317 different events and featured schools from across the country.
Freshman transfer Shannon Davis finished third in the 100-meter dash preliminaries with a time of 10.51 seconds, He improved upon that time in the championships with a time of 10.26, but placed eight. Only .10 out of a top three finish.
“He’s a great competitor,” Head Coach Rick Erdmann said, “a lot of the great football players of all time also ran track.”
Eastern freshman Mike VanKrutchen finished 21st in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.38.
Davis and VanKrutchen also competed in the 4-by-100 with teammates senior George Bailey and junior Nick Landis. The team took 27th out of the 80-team field. Their time of 41.37 was two seconds off the winning time of 39.37.
In the 4-by-mile, Eastern finished with a time of 16:39.47 (a school record). Each runner finished his mile in less than 4:15. The Colonels took eighth out of 11 teams, finishing ahead of SEC teams Arkansas and Mississippi State.
“I was actually hoping to do a little better,” Erdmann said, “but we did finish ahead of a lot of good teams.”
This weekend, Eastern will compete in the OVC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Back in March the men’s team took first place in the indoor championships, but Coach Erdmann isn’t approaching the outdoors the same as the indoor.
“We’re not going to do like we did in the indoor championships where we ran everybody to death. Now we’re just going to be trying to qualify for regionals,” Erdmann said.
The track and field team continues find limited success in the field events, with most wins coming on the track, while the women’s team has been hampered by injuries.
Erdmann said he is also concerned with the team pulling together, with Davis participating in spring football practice the past few weeks, the relay team hasn’t been together as much as he would like.
“Right now we’re very individualized,” Erdmann said.