BY: MATTHEW CRUMP
Determination and drive helped Eastern’s track and field team find success at the Middle Tennessee State University Invitational on Feb. 2. This win came even without some of the men’s team top runners.
The star of the invitational was sophomore Ann Eason with winning the women’s 800 meters race. Eason continued her streak of success in distance running with a time of 2:13.53 in the race. Her closest competitor was a senior from Middle Tennessee who placed second with a time of 2:17.67. She competed against 24 other runners.
“The meet was a workout for me,” Eason said. “It wasn’t anything too high pressure or anything like that. I just went there to race and work on my speed a little bit.”
Head coach Rick Erdmann said making Eason, who is normally a distance runner, run shorter distances would help round her out to be a better distance runner.
Eason was not the only runner to find success in the women’s 800 meters race; freshman Julie Mathisen and sophomore Shannon Rutherford both placed in the top 10. Mathisen earned fourth place with a time of 2:19.27, and Rutherford placed seventh with a time of 2:21.58.
Also, freshman Viivi Rantanen placed fourth out of 25 runners in the women’s mile race with a time of 5:07.64.
The Colonels had a strong showing in some of the shorter races. Freshman Tashuana Yapchung placed third in the women’s 400 meters with a time of 58.98 and fourth in the final of the women’s 55 meter dash with a time of 7.29.
The men’s side had many of its key runners taking the week off, so it was up to the rest of the team to try and make up for their absence.
Eastern had two distance runners who had standout performances. Senior Yosi Goasdoue placed second in the men’s 3,000 meters with a time of 8:36.35, and freshman Amos Kosgey placed third in the men’s mile with a time of 4:18.68.
Junior Sean Vandermosten and senior Anthony Eason both competed in the men’s 800 meters. Vandermosten placed third with a time of 1:56.70, and Eason placed fourth with a time of 1:57.57.
Eastern’s jumpers had some victories, as well. Sophomores Tanner Kendall and Zack Hill tied for second place in the men’s high jump with jumps of 1.98 meters.
Top runners such as senior Soufiane Bouchikhi, junior Wade Meddles and sophomore Thijs Nijhuis didn’t compete last weekend, but they trained at home in preparation for their next meet.
The team will split up this weekend for two events on separate sides of the country. Some runners will be competing at the Washington Husky Invitational in Seattle while the majority of the team will compete in the Indiana University Hoosier Hills Open in Bloomington, Ind., on Feb. 8.