The Eastern Michigan University Track and Field Programs hosted the Bob Parks Memorial meet on Saturday, Jan. 20, taking first place in four field events and topping eight track events.
The event was held at Bowen Field House on Eastern Michigan University’s central campus, and it was the first time the event hosted an indoor meet since January 25, 2020.
The meet had seven schools participating outside of Eastern Michigan, which were Madonna University, the University of Windsor, Oakland University, the University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Toledo, Ball State University, and Bowling Green State University.
Eastern Michigan had a total of four first-place finishers on the field side of things. There were a total of 12 events in the field.
The first-place finishers included Formula Thompson (St. Catherine, Jamaica) producing a 7.46-meter long jump to best his competition by 0.24 meters, Brendan Hill (Huber Heights, Ohio) who had a 2.10-meter high jump, Micah Martin (Clinton Township, Mich.) with a 1.76-meter high jump, and Yvan Lopes Ribeiro (Nice, France) tallying 14.43-meter triple jump.
On the track, the Eagles had control over the other seven schools they competed against. Being that there were 19 track events combined for the men and women, EMU had athletes take first place in seven of these.
The mile run for the women was one to remember for Faith Rono (Eldoret, Kenya), clocking a time of four minutes and 59 seconds to beat the field by one second and to break the five-minute mark, two seconds off of her personal best time for the one-mile distance of 4:57.
The Eagles had three runners break 5:10 in this distance out of the four runners who competed.
Some of the other first-place runners for Eastern Michigan were Kian Wiles (Hull, England) with a 4:10-mile, Lopes Ribeiro with a 7.92-second 60-meter hurdles time, Saraiah Walkes (Manatee County, Fla.) with a 7.47-second 60-meter dash, Gabe Singh (Toledo, Ohio) with a 49.02-second 400-meter time, and Josephine Oloye (Iwaro-Oka, Nigeria) with a 57.13-second 400-meter time to help the Eagles sweep both the men’s and women’s side of the quarter-mile distance.
The other first-place finishers were Paige Marchant (London, Ontario) with a 2:09.37 800, Sam Peterson (Charlevoix, Mich.) with an 8:29.51 3000-meter, and the women’s A team for the 4x400 meter relay, finishing the mile team race in three minutes and 50 seconds.
All schools who participated brought a good crowd and largely filled up the bleachers in the old-time fieldhouse. Bowen holds around 5,000 people, and there were not many open seats in the bleachers.
This was the fourth indoor meet of the season for Eastern Michigan and their second since the calendar flipped to 2024. Highlights on the upcoming schedule include traveling to places such as the University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Arkansas, as well as the local University of Michigan.
There are four more indoor meets before the MAC Championships which take place at Bowen Field House on Feb. 23 and 24. After that, the outdoor season starts and kicks off on March 15 at the University of Central Florida.
The Eagles will now head over to Ann Arbor for the Michigan Invitational on Jan. 26 and 27 at the University of Michigan.
For more information on the EMU’s track and field programs, you can visit The Echo's website.