NORMAL, Ill. - Five Leathernecks picked up victories in a strong Western Illinois track & field season opener at the Redbird Open on Saturday.
Senior Talisa Watson headlined the day for the Leathernecks with a pair of wins, including a career-best time of 8.99 in the 60-meter hurdles, sixth-best in program history. She also cleared 5-3 in the high jump to set another career-best mark.
"I was very impressed with our returnees," third-year head coach David Beauchem said. "They showed their experience."
In the 60-meter hurdles on the men's side, Western received a 1-2 finish from sophomore Glenn Powell and junior Zach Glasebrook. Powell won in 8.32 (tied for third-best in program history), with Glasebrook right behind at a career-best 8.51.
Senior Jamario Taylor also increased his personal best in the high jump by clearing 7-00.50 to win the event, moving into sole possession of second place in school history. Fellow senior Tynan Murray also broke into the record books, with a second-place finish by clearing 6-08.75, tied for ninth in program history.
Junior Nathaniel Marshall threw a personal best 18.74-meters to win the weight throw, jumping from sixth to fourth in program history.
On the women's side, senior Dana LaRue added a pair of second-place finishes in the shot put and weight throw. Her toss of 18.15 meters in the weight throw was a personal best and fifth-best in school history, while her throw of 15.46 meters in the shot put was also second at the meet.
Other top-three individual finishes included sophomore Megan McGlone finishing third in the long jump (personal best 5.23 meters), sophomore Tariq Ahmad finishing third in the 800-meter run (personal best 2:04.15), sophomore Cedric Cheeks finishing second in the triple jump (personal best 13.76 meters), and senior Jeff Veal finishing third in the pole vault by clearing 4.26 meters.
"Our freshmen showed their inexperience, but they'll get better," Beauchem added. "Today is a good start."
The Leathernecks will be idle until 2013, when they travel to the University of Iowa Open on January 12.