BY: MATTHEW CRUMP
A split track and field team found success on two different sides of the country last weekend.
Six of Eastern’s top runners went to the Washington Husky Invitational in Seattle, Wash. while the rest of the team competed at the Indiana Hoosier Hills Open in Bloomington, Ind.
In Seattle, two standouts for the Colonels were senior Soufiane Bouchikhi and sophomore Ann Eason.
Bouchikhi competed in two races, the men’s 5,000 meters invitational and the men’s 3,000 meters invitational.
These races had the top runners in the country competing. He placed 13 out of 26 runners with a time of 13:48.47 in the men’s 5,000 invitational and 19 out of 40 runners with a time of 7:57.93 in the men’s 3,000 invitational.
His times for both races were OVC-bests so far this season and the second fastest in Eastern history, the fastest times for both races are held by Bouchikhi.
Eason’s time in the women’s 3,000 race was also an OVC-best. She placed second out of 59 runners with a time of 9:29.22. Her time is also the second fastest time in school history.
“Her pace was a little bit slow at the start,” head coach Erdmann said. “The girl that beat her just sort of sat on her, used her as a pace-maker. It was a good strategy.”
Other racers that competed in Seattle aslo did well.
Junior Wade Meddles placed fourth out of 86 runners in the men’s 3,000 with a time of 8:07.49.
Sophomore Thijs Nijhuis and freshmen Mads Taersboel competed in the men’s mile, placing 17 with a time of 4:08.16 and 20 with a time of 4:08.71, respectively. They ran against 88 other runners.
Freshman Jeppe Harboe competed in the men’s 5,000 meters, placing 27 out of 84 runners with a time of 14:23.96. This was a personal-best time for Harboe.
The team at the Indiana Hoosier Hills Open found success mostly in shorter distance races.
Two Colonels competed in the women’s 400 meters race, freshman Tashuana Yapchung who won the race with a time of 56.67 a personal best and the third fastest time in the OVC. And senior Bianca Forbes who placed fourth with a time of 57.27. She is the current record holder for the indoor women’s 400 meters at Eastern.
For his efforts at the Washington Husky Invitational Bouchikhi was named OVC Male Track Athlete of the Week. He is no stranger to this award: this is his 12th-career weekly OVC track and field award.
The team gets a week off to prepare for the OVC Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23. The championships are being held in Charleston, Ill.