Eastern began its season at the Eastern Early Bird before the break where it had seven individual first-place winners and three relay winners.

Included among the winners was pole vaulter red-shirt junior Mick Viken, who broke his own school record with a height of 17-feet, 5-inches.

Pole vault All-American red-shirt junior Jade Riebold had another great performance with a height of 13-feet, 4.5-inches.

Riebold is joined by fellow women’s field participants sophomore Maura Cummins and junior Condia Smith. Senior Erika Ramos leads the women’s runners after she won the women’s mile.

Freshmen Eric Gordon and Calvin Edwards sported good performances, as Gordon finished second behind Viken in the vault while Edwards won the 200-meter dash. Junior sprinter Cody Boarman won the 400-meter dash. Four members of the men’s squad finished with second place finishes.

Looking ahead, the Panthers will have another home meet in the John Craft Invitational, where they will have to deal with Arkansas State, among others. Following that will be the Illinois Winter Invite in Urbana-Champaign.

The Panthers have simply dominated the competition in the Ohio Valley Conference, as the men have won 11 of the past 12 OVC Championships while the women have taken five of the last six.

Eastern Kentucky has been Eastern’s top competition in the past, as they have been the runner up on the men’s side two years in a row and runner up in two of the past three years on the women’s side. Southeast Missouri will also contend with Eastern, as they were the women’s runner up last season and have been the men’s runner up in eight of the past 12 years.

Eastern finished 18th in the men’s and women’s regionals in 2012 and look to improve that ranking with the success of Riebold, Viken, and the rest of the team.

An appearance in the field of 65 alongside major conference teams such as Florida and Oregon at the tournament is not out of the question with the presence of All-American candidates and talented freshmen on the squad.

The John Craft Invitational will take place on Jan. 19 in Lantz Fieldhouse. The Panthers will look to carry the momentum over from the opening meet.

From: http://www.dennews.com/sports/eastern-looking-to-build-on-wins/article_29eb0aca-5898-11e2-bc20-001a4bcf6878.html

Jade - Tim Mac - Vaulter Magazine
Jade – Tim Mac – Vaulter Magazine

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