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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (EIU) — Eastern Illinois track and field adjusted its weekend schedule with the Panthers competing on Friday at the Western Kentucky Hilltopper Relays.

At the one-day meet, EIU posted 15 top five finishes including four first-place finishes.

Senior Chrisford Stevens won the men’s triple jump covering a distance of 50 feet, 7 1/2 inches. The jump ranks sixth all-time at EIU and is ranked 24th in the NCAA this season. He became the first EIU athlete to pass the 50-foot mark since the 2007 season.

Drew Meyer-Hester added a first-place finish for the EIU men in the javelin with a throw of 173-11.

On the women’s side, EIU posted two first-place finishes in field events. Brion Portis won the triple jump with a mark of 41-9 3/4, while Haleigh Knapp won the high jump, clearing 5-7. Portis would also place fourth in the long jump with a mark of 18-6 1/2.

Ryan Pearce and Pedra Hicks joined Portis as EIU athletes with multiple top-five finishes on the day. Pearce was third in the men’s discus with a throw of 162-7 and placed fifth in the shot put with a throw of 53-5. Hicks was the runner-up in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.16. She was fifth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.44. Teammate Darneisha Spann was second in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.01.

MaKenna Wilson and Marie Koch rounded out the EIU women with top-five finishes. Wilson was third in the javelin with a throw of 120-10. Koch was fourth in the discus with a throw of 136-4.

Devante Smith, Nick Phillips and Davion McManis rounded out the EIU men with top-five finishes. Smith was fifth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.78. Phillips was fourth in the hammer with a throw of 169-8. McManis was fourth in the long jump with a distance of 23-1 1/4.

Baseball takes series opener at SEMO

Cape Girardeau, Mo. (EIU) — The Eastern Illinois baseball team took on Southeast Missouri in the first game of their OVC series on Friday afternoon. The Panthers offense belted two home runs to help lift them over SEMO 5-3.

With the win, Eastern improves to 10-17 (2-7 OVC), while SEMO drops to 12-8 (8-5 OVC).

The Panthers struck the scoring column first in the top of the third inning. Joseph Duncan got the rally started with a two-out double to right center. Jimmy Govern would draw a walk in the following at-bat to give Panthers two runners on base. The Panthers would take a 3-0 lead when Jimmy Huber drove his second home run of the season to right field.

SEMO would answer back in the bottom of the third inning, tying the game on a Peyton Faulkner sacrifice.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Panthers would pull away from SEMO, taking a 5-3 lead. Huber led off the inning with a leadoff single to center. Dougie Parks would clear the bases, hitting his seventh home run of the season.

The Eastern pitching staff was lights out after the third inning, shutting down the SEMO offense. Tyler Jones found his composure after the third inning, picking up his third win of the season. Jones advanced to 3-2 on the season, tossing 6.0 innings, with two hits, two strikeouts, four walks and three runs (one earned).

Michael Starcevich picked up his fifth save of the season, pitching 3.0 innings, with one hit, and five strikeouts.

Duncan finished 1-for-3 with a double, and a run. Huber finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs and a home run. Josh Turnock finished 1-for-4 with a double. Parks went 1-for-3 on the afternoon with two RBIs, a run and a home run.

EIU women's basketball recruits earn All-State honors

Eastern Illinois women’s basketball recruits wrapped up their senior seasons earlier this year, each leading their teams to successful seasons and earning All-State honors. Head Coach Matt Bollant added Abby Wahl, Kira Arthofer and Jordyn Hughes to the 2018-19 roster this past November.

“This group has a chance to do some great things at EIU, and I love how driven and tough they are. All three of them are near straight-A students and achieve on and off the court. They will have a tremendous impact on our program.”

Wahl is a forward/center from Lincoln City, Indiana. She just wrapped up her senior season under head coach Kim Brown at Heritage Hills High School. She averaged 20.2 ppg and 8.9 rpg, leading her team to a 17-4 season. Wahl averaged a school-best 65 percent from the field and 85 percent from the free-throw line. She also set a school record for 36 points scored in a single game and is the school’s all-time leading scorer as she finished her prep career with 1,450 points. Wahl earned many accolades for her senior season. She was named First-Team All-Conference, All-County Team MVP, All-PSC Tournament Team, AP All-State Honorable Mention, Hoosier Basketball Magazine Top 60, HBCA District 2 All-Star Team, IBCA Senior All-State Large School, and the Evansville Courier and Press All-Southwest Indiana First Team.

Arthofer is a point guard from Pleasant Valley, Iowa. She just finished her senior season under head coach Jennifer Goetz at Pleasant Valley High School. Arthofer averaged 53.3 percent from the field, 13.3 ppg, 4.2 spg, and 3.8 apg. She is the 5A State leader in steals with 97 on the season. Arthofer was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Metro, All-District 5A, Third Team All-State 5A, and the Dearrel Bates 2018 MVP. She was also selected to the Iowa/Illinois Senior All-Star Team and the IGCA Senior All-Star Team.

Hughes is a guard from Gurnee, Illinois. She just finished her senior season under head coach John Stanczykiewicz at Warren Township High School. Hughes averaged 14.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.7 spg, and 43 percent from 3-point range. Hughes led her team to a 25-7 record and their first regional title in six years. She was named the Chicago Tribune Co-Player of the Year and the Lake County News Sun Player of the Year. Hughes earned First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Area, First Team All-Area Captain and Fourth Team All-State. She was also named to the Blue Devil Classic All-Tournament team and the Niles North All-Tournament Team.

Murray State beats EIU women's tennis

MURRAY, Ky. (EIU) — Eastern Illinois women's tennis lost on the road at Murray State on Friday morning as the Panthers play an Ohio Valley Conference weekend swing at MSU and Austin Peay that could impact seeding for the upcoming OVC Tournament. MSU beat EIU 7-0 handing the Panthers their second loss in conference play.

EIU is now 10-11 overall, 4-2 in the OVC. The Panthers will play at Austin Peay on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Murray State has won eight straight matches improving to 12-6 overall, 6-0 in the OVC.

The Panthers had a promising start in the match as they won the first match of doubles play, with Stella Cliffe and Grace Summers picking up a 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles. Murray State would square the doubles with a win at No. 2, setting up the deciding match at No. 3 doubles. The Racers team of Sara Bjork and Stasya Sharapova picked up a 7-5 win over Claire Martin and Srishti Slaria to give Murray State the point.

The Racers would then win all six singles matches in straight sets. Playing at No. 4 singles, Emily Pugachevsky battled in her first set against Amina Hadzic but would fall 7-6, 6-4.

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