BY: MATTHEW CRUMP
Six runners from Eastern’s Men’s Track and Field team tackled an impromptu meet at the Indiana Gladstein Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., Jan. 18.
This was the first meet back for senior Soufiane Bouchikhi’s since break, after skipping the University of Kentucky Invitational hosted Jan. 11-12.
The Colonels faced a couple of hurdles coming into the meet. The meet was added into the schedule shortly before taking place and there was stiff competition from teams like Ohio State University, Indiana University and runners from professional teams.
The Colonels competed in three races: the men’s one mile invitational, the men’s one mile and the men’s 3,000 meter run.
Bouchikhi was the top collegiate runner after placing fourth in the men’s one mile invitational with a time of 4:07.85.This time is short of his personal best, but is the best time for the OVC this winter.
Bouchikhi was defeated by three professional runners, all of who were within a second of breaking the four-minute wall.
Head Coach, Rick Erdmann said that racing against professionals is a good experience for Bouchikhi.
“This is not the first time Soufiane has run against guys of that caliber,” Erdmann said. “He’s one of the better collegiate runners in the country. He’s an All-American. He competes at a very high level. It’s a good experience.”
Sophomore, Thijs Nijhuis and junior, Wade Meddles competed in the men’s one-mile run.
Nijhuis, named OVC Male Track Athlete of the Week, had the best results for the Colonels after his time of 4:08.39, earning him second place out of over 40 runners.
Meddles placed tenth with a time of 4:14.97.
“Thijs is running really well,” Erdmann said. “He’s improving. He improved from the week before at the University of Kentucky meet. I was pleased with him.”
The three remaining runners competed in the men’s 3,000 meters run.
Freshman, Mads Taersboel placed second out of 34 runners, with a time of 8:16.38. He bested his previous OVC-best time by almost eight seconds.
Freshman, Sean Vandermosten finished tenth with a personal-best time of 8:28.42.
Junior, Adams Ronnoh was a few places behind Vandermosten in fourteenth place, with a time of 8:32.17.
Bouchikhi was named the Adidas OVC Co-Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for his debut efforts.
The Colonels return to the track Jan. 25 and 26 at the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational in Lexington.