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Douglas County field standouts work toward success for EIU track

 Clayton Turner, a junior at EIU and 2015 Tuscola Community High School grad, has put in the work and is now a top thrower for the Eastern Illinois University men’s track team.

The Eastern Illinois men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams continued their indoor season with a combined ten first place finishes at the John Craft Invite.

The EIU men finished in first overall (151), with SIUE placing second (103). Western Illinois (70), and Saint Louis (62).

Ryan Pearce, a Villa Grove native, was the top finisher in the shot put with his distance of 51-11.25, while Turner earned second place honors with his distance of 50-08.25.

The Eastern Illinois Men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams then displayed a strong showing at the Illinois Classic as the Panthers earned nine top three finishes on the day, with four first place finishes. The EIU men finished the Illinois Classic third overall, while the women placed fourth.

Ryan Pearce earned a second place finish in the shot put with his throws distance of 53-00.00

Turner competed for EIU during the 2017 indoor and outdoor seasons. He competed in eight meets during the indoor season, which saw EIU become the Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championship team. Turner scored points in the shot put at the OVC Championships. His 2017 indoor season best shot put mark was 51’11” at the OVC Championships while his season best weight throw mark was 45’2.25″ at the Grand Valley Big Meet. During the outdoor Turner competed in seven meets and took part in all four throws events. His outdoor season best discus was 145’5.50″ at the ISU Redbird, best javelin was 173’4.50″ at the ISU Redbird, best shot put was 51’11” at the OVC Championships, and season best hammer throw was 130’0.50″ at the ISU Redbird.

While at TCHS, Turner competed in the IHSA Class 1A State Meet as a senior competing in both the shot put and discus helping team place fourth in the state finish. He placed third in the state in the shot put with a finals distance of 52’4.25″ and sixth in the state in discus at 155’2″.

Ryan Pearce, of Villa Grove is a graduate student at EIU. He transferred from McKendree University where he competed in throws at the NCAA Division II member McKendree University. He was named the GLVC Field Athlete of the Year in both 2015 and 2016. Pearce was conference champion in shot put in 2015 and 2016, conference champion in discus and javelin in 2016. He also earned top marks in shot put (16.89 m), javelin (53.69 m), discus (52.43 m), Hammer (150′) and indoor weight throw (15.67 m).

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 31 edition of The Tuscola Journal.


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