MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois track & field is set to continue its indoor season this weekend as it travels to Champaign for the Illini Classic on the campus of the University of Illinois.
The Leathernecks are coming off a trip to the University of Iowa Open in which four Leathernecks won events.
"We're off to a pretty good start two meets in," head coach David Beauchem said. "Our field events are off to a really good start. Track-wise, we're a little bit behind, and a big part of that is due to the ice and snow over break."
This weekend's meet marks the second of eight straight weekends with team meets, concluding with Iowa State's last chance invititational March 2.
"We have to start our progression and keep getting better every week," Beauchem added. "It's time to start getting better this week and next week at Northern Iowa, because then we have the two elite weekends on our schedule. It's a short season, but we have to be ready for those first two weekends in February."
Other participating teams include Illinois, Bradley, Southern Illinois, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Marquette, and Lincoln (Mo.).
WHO: Western Illinois at Illini Classic
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013
LOCATION: Champaign, Ill.
VENUE: UI Armory
Also in the weight throw on the men's side, junior Nathaniel Marshall's toss of 62-01 is good for 18th-best in the country.
ATOP THE SUMMIT: Taylor's mark in the high jump, as well as both of LaRue's tosses in the shot put and weight throw, are currently best in The Summit League...The men's team has four other student-athletes who currently rank second in the conference...Davin Dollison ranks second in the 400-meter in 50.07...In the triple jump, Cedric Cheeks sits in second with a leap of 45-01.75...Jason Crisman is second in the league in the shot put with a toss of 52-01.25...Marshall's weight throw mark is also good for the second spot.
WINNING WAYS: Senior Talisa Watson opened the season with a pair of wins at the Redbird Open...She finished the 60-meter hurdles in a career best time of 8.99, and also cleared 5-3 in the high jump for another career best...At the Iowa Open, Chelsea Lynes won her season debut in the 1,000-meter run, while Brandon Clabough picked up his first collegiate victory in the pole vault.
INTO THE RECORD BOOKS: Several Leathernecks found their way into the record books early in the season...Glenn Powell finished the 60-meter hurdles in 8.32, tied for third-best in school history...Marshall moved from fourth to second-best in the weight
throw...Tynan Murray's high jump leap of 6-08.75 places him for a tie for ninth
all-time...LaRue moved into fourth in the weight throw after the Iowa Open.
PRESEASON POLL: Both the men's and women's squads were projected to finish fifth in the league...The men were tabbed fifth out of sixth teams, ahead of Oakland and behind NDSU, South Dakota, SDSU, and Kansas City...The women were ranked fifth out of eight teams, ahead of Oakland, Omaha, and Fort Wayne, and behind NDSU, South Dakota, SDSU, and Kansas City.
ON DECK: The Leathernecks will next be in action Jan. 25-26 at the Northern Iowa Invitational.