Eagles 800-meter relay finishes third at indoor meet

Tayon Swift runs in a relay during Saturday’s meet. (Photos by Dan Chamness) 


CHAMPAIGN — The Rantoul Eagle 800-meter relay team on Saturday ran the fastest indoor time in the last 15 years. 

The team of Tayon Swift, Dillion Harper, Gary Lawson and Robert Buford dashed to the finish line in 1 minute, 34.46 seconds. They finished third overall at the Charger Indoor Invitational, hosted by Champaign Centennial and sponsored by First To The Finish. It was held at The Armory on the campus of University of Illinois.

“Running the fastest time posted to our leader board with an amazing group of teammates was special,’ said Swift, who led off the relay. “It takes me back to last year when we were able to post the record time with my brother on the team.”

The Eagles were topped by only Bloom Township (1:33.79) and Normal West (1:34.03). 

“I think if I would have had another 20 meters, I would have caught them,” said Buford, the anchor leg. “I ran decently, but I know I can run better. I think we can run an even faster time in the 800-meter relay before the season is over.”

The 800-meter relay was the only team to earn medals as awards were distributed to the top three relay teams or top three individuals.

The meet was divided into A, B and C Divisions. 

In the A Division, Jerry Harper, Buford and Jonathan Gossett all earned top 10 finishes. 

Harper ran four laps around the 200-meter Armory track in 2:04.70 to take fifth in the 800-meter run. Buford took sixth in the 60-meter dash (:07.29) and ninth in the long jump (18 feet, 11.25 inches). Gossett took ninth in the 1,600-meter run, running a personal best of 4:48.70.

In the B Division, Treven Lewis, Lawson, KeJuan Caradine, Avontay Anderson and BJ Hudson were in the top 10. 

Lewis finished the 60-meter dash in :07.47 to take sixth, while Lawson took seventh in the long jump with a leap of 18-9.25. 

Caradine was eighth in the triple jump (36-7.25). Anderson dashed to the finish line in :24.01 in the 200-meter dash to take ninth, while BJ Hudson took 10th in the shot put with a throw of 36-7.

Cody Schluter took seventh in the C Division of the shot put with a toss of 36-4.5. Memphis Little was also in the top 10 in his event, the 60-meter dash. He ran a time of :07.74 in the C Division to take 10th. 

“I was happy with how we performed,” Rantoul coach Mitch Wilson said. “Next weekend, we want to concentrate on scoring points and winning our own meet. This weekend was a tune up for the upcoming weekend.”

The Eagles will be at the Armory once again this weekend as they host the Rantoul Indoor Invitational, which will be sponsored by First To The Finish.