Eastern Michigan University’s men’s track and field team competed in day one of the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in Kent, Ohio on Feb. 22, finishing in second place with 32 points, tour points behind first place Akron.
In the final event of day one, the Eagles successfully defended their distance medley relay title with a combined time of 10:04.71 from sophomores Solomon Costa, Owen Day, Derek Jones and Treston White, finishing a full 2.11 seconds in front of the second place team, University of Akron.
Those four gave EMU momentum heading into day two, as the Eagles look to do what they did a year ago: come from behind on day two to win the MAC championship. The Eagles are in a similar position they were one year ago at the end of day one, finishing in second place with 41 points in 2018. They would go onto to complete a comeback on day two to secure their 15th MAC championship in program history.
Akron finished in first place on day one, holding onto a narrow four-point lead over Eastern, with a total of 36 points. First place finishes in the long jump heptathlon, the 5,000 meter and long jump finals helped to keep Akron above the rest of the competition.
Sophomore Skyler Lester finished in a tie for first place in the high jump with a mark of 2.06 meters. TJ Lawson from Kent State also finished with the same mark. Lester would go onto to finish second in the shot put.
Tyler Underwood followed Lester's lead, winning the 400-meter event with a time of 47.11. He finished 0.66 seconds sooner than the second place finisher Akron’s Sam Janson with a time of 47.77. In that same 400-meter race, the Eagles’ Owen Richardson came in third place with a time of 47.81.
Underwood would go on to finish in second place in the 200-meter preliminaries event with a time of 21.38. Kent State’s Asa Hardock came in first place with a time of 21.13. Redshirt sophomore Austin Wicker came close to giving the Eagles tour-event wins on the day with a close finish in the 5,000-meter event. Wicker finished with a time of 14:37.54, just 2.5 seconds behind first-place winner Tevin Brown from Akron with a time of 14:35.04. In that same event, redshirt senior Melika Ghali came in fourth place with a time of 14:49.55.
Fellow Eagle Tyler Paine came close in the 60-meter hurdles with an 8.21, coming in second to Buffalo’s Anthony Clark who clocked in at an 8.08. In that same event, Eastern had another player finish in the top five, as senior Frank Douglas came in fourth with an 8.24 finish.
Coach John Goodridge and his team were not made available for comment after the event. The Eagles will be back in action for day two of the MAC Championship at 11 a.m. on Feb. 23.