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CHARLESTON — The Eastern Illinois men's and women's indoor track & field teams began their 2017-18 season on Friday night with the annual EIU Early Bird Meet in the Lantz Fieldhouse. The Panthers earned a combined nine top-three finishes as both the men's and women's teams placed third overall in the meet.

Indiana State finished first overall for both the men and women. Illinois State placed second overall for both the men and women, Western Illinois placing fourth place finishes, and Loyola (Ill.) taking fifth.

For the EIU women, Haleigh Knapp finished first in the high jump with her distance of 1.78 meters.

Shirley Jones took third for the women in the 400-meter dash with her time of 58.57. Darneisha Spann followed suit posting a top-three finish placing third in the 60-meter hurdle with her time of 8.61.

The quartet of Pedra Hicks, Spann, Sophia Keith, and Stephanie Dominguez finished third in the 4x400 relay for the Panthers with their time of 4:07.86.

Davion McManis got the running events started for the EIU men as he placed first in the 60-meter dash with his time of 6.82 and followed that up with a second place finish in the long jump with his distance of 7.00 meters.

Brandan Lane tied for second in the 200-meter dash with his time of 22.61 for the Panthers. Chrisford Stevens also placed a top three finish for the men's squad placing second in the triple jump with his distance of 14.34 meters.

Nick Phillips found a spot in the top three in the weight throw placing third with his distance of 16.39 meters.

The Eastern Illinois men's and women's indoor track & field units will return to action following the new year as the Panthers will travel for the Illinois Classic on Jan. 12-13.

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