CHARLESTON, Ill. - School records fell by the wayside as the Indiana State track & field teams opened their indoor season Friday with a dominating performance at the Eastern Illinois University Early Bird Meet held in Lantz Gymnasium.
Indiana State won both sides of the meet as the Sycamore women scored 131.5 points to defeat Eastern Illinois (108) and Southeast Missouri State (93.5) and the Indiana State men tallied 116.5 points to win over Eastern Illinois (98) and Southeast Missouri State (93).
Two of the three new school records were set by senior Felisha Johnson as she established the new marks in winning both the weight throw and the shot put Friday. Johnson, a two-time All-American in the weight throw, had a winning distance of 75-feet-3.25-inches (22.94 meters) to break her own school record of 74-feet-5.75-inches (22.69 meters) set just a year ago. She also broke the Lantz Gymnasium and Early Bird meet records, both of which she set during the past two seasons.
It was another record performance for the Sycamore senior in the shot put with her winning distance of 57-feet-3.75-inches (17.47 meters) which broke her own record set last year of 55-feet-5.75-inches (16.91 meters). The effort also broke Johnson's Early Bird meet record and the Lantz Gymnasium record of Southern Illinois' Jeneva McCall set in 2011 of 53-feet-11.75-inches.
Senior Stacia Weatherford lowered her own school record in the 60 meter hurdles as she won the finals with a new record time of 8.48 seconds. That also broke the Early Bird meet record of 8.59 set by Cincinnati's Paris Campbell in 2011.
"We definitely have some good senior leadership on the team and it was nice to see some of the freshman step it up tonight," Angela Martin, Indiana State women's track & field head coach sadi. "Felisha (Johnson) and Stacia (Weatherford) each had a great day and the 4x400 was a great way to end the meet. I am pleased with where we are at right now but we cannot let our guard down right now. We have to keep working hard through break and right on to conference."
Indiana State also had a winning performance from senior Shalesa Smith in the triple jump with a distance of 37-feet-9.5-inches (11.52 meters), sophomore Carmelia Stewart in the long jump with a personal best leap of 19-feet-2-inches (5.85 meters) which is the seventh best in school history.
Katie Wise, a freshman out of Morgantown, Ind., had an auspicious start to her Sycamore career as she captured the 60 meter dash in 7.61 seconds which is sixth best in school history, and then won the 200 meters in 25.43 seconds which is the 18th best at Indiana State.
Junior Shelby Higginbottom ran the fourth fastest 600 meters in school history in winning the event with a time of 1:34.43. Weatherford recorded the sixth fastest 600 meters in finishing second in 1:35.26. Senior Leeann Michl won the 800 meters in 2:15.17 and also ran on the 4x400 meter relay team along with Macey Black, Weatherford and Higginbottom which won in 3:50.66. That relay team set a new Early Bird meet record in the process breaking the mark of 3:52.28 set by Cincinnati a year ago.
The Sycamore women ended up winning 10 of the 15 events during the competition and had some outstanding early season performances even in the events they did not win.
Black finished second (58.26) and Stewart fourth (1:00.55) in the 400 meters, Kalli Dalton second (5:10.95) and Hanna Mercer fifth (5:23.75) in the mile, and Nicole Lucas seventh in the 3,000 meters (10:45.33). Stewart was also third (8.68) and Taylor Gilles fourth (8.89) in the 60 meter hurdles. Steffen was second in the long jump with a personal best distance of 18-feet-3.75-inches (5.58 meters) and Amy Fanella third in the triple jump at 35-feet-5-inches (10.79 meters).
Several newcomers made a big impression in the field events with freshman Ioanna Kolsidou finishing second in the high jump with a leap of five-feet-6.5-inches (1.69 meters), freshman Kimyana Rudolph third in the pole vault by clearing 12-feet-6.75-inches (3.83 meters), freshman Whitney Walker fifth in the shot put with a distance of 41-feet-11.25-inches (12.78 meters), and freshman Katelyn Rutz sixth in the weight throw with a toss of 45-feet-2.5-inches (13.78 meters).
The Indiana State men also had a good start to their indoor season with junior Greggmar Swift picking up where he left off a year ago by winning the 60 meter hurdles in 7.83 seconds. The junior had broken his own Early Bird meet record set last year of 7.85 in the preliminaries as he ran 7.79, just two-hundredths of a second of his personal best.
Freshman John Mascari dominated the mile run as he ran to victory in 4:14.676 while senior Dustin Betz was equally dominate in the 3,000 meters with a winning time of 8:30.21. Junior Robert Webb was a winner in the high jump by clearing six-feet-7.5-inches (2.02 meters) with Chris Fields taking the weight throw with the ninth best distance in school history of 62-feet-8-inches (19.10 meters).
Swift also ran to second place in the 60 meter dash with a personal best time of 6.81 seconds. Senior Justin Baxtron was fourth in the 60 meters (6.96) but came back to place second in the 200 meters (22.67) with sophomore Devin Price third (23.12) and senior Shaun Smith fourth (23.14).
Sophomore Arqeil Shaw finished second (50.22) and sophomore Ryan Dickson third (50.66) in the 400 meters, freshman Michael Steele third (1:24.18) and junior Max Tuttle fourth (1:24.25) in the 600 meters, sophomore Jonathan Jackson third (1:56.17) and junior Brad Adams fourth (1:56.31) in the 800 meters, senior Corey Hahn third in the mile (4:19.59), and sophomore Taylor Head third in the 3,000 meters (8:46.95). Freshman Marcus Neely tied for third in the 60 meter hurdles (8.24).
The Indiana State 4x400 meter relay team of Jackson, Shaw, Tuttle, and Dickson finished second in 3:23.05.
Freshman Brett Wehmiller cleared 6-feet-7-inches (2.01 meters) to place second in the high jump with junior Jamal Hampton third at 6-feet-1.25-inches (1.86 meters). Senior Drew LaMaster was fourth and freshman Connor Curley fourth in the pole vault after both cleared 14-feet-7.25-inches (4.45 meters).
Webb placed fourth (22-feet-7.75-inches) and Wehmiller fifth (21-feet-8.75-inches) in the long jump with freshman Derek Bunch third in the shot put (51-feet-8.5-inches), and sophomore Justin Applegate fourth in the weight throws (56-feet-4.5-inches).
Team scores were not available as this time.