By Tim Taylor

Charleston High sprinter Makenna McBride has signed with Eastern Illinois University to be a sprinter on the track and field team.

The Apollo Conference Champion and sectional champion in the 100 and 200 will compete at the IHSA State track meet later this week at EIU’s O’Brien Stadium, qualifying for the second successive year.

At the IHSA sectional at Tolono last week, McBride had personal-record times of 12.66 and 25.62 seconds in the 100 and 200, respectively.

Both of Makenna’s parents and her grandfather are former members of the EIU track and field team. Her mom Jonica ran sprints and was a jumper from 1995-2000, and her father Michael ran the half mile and mile from 1994-1998.

John Craft, her grandfather, was a triple jumper from 1965-69 for EIU. He still holds the record for triple jump for an EIU athlete and also competed in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

McBride will follow a family tradition and looks forward to forging her own athletic career at Eastern.

“I chose EIU because it’s close to my home,” McBride said. “I feel comfortable there, and all my family has gone.”

Over the course of the season, McBride fulfilled two main goals –being asked to run for EIU and qualifying for state as a sectional champion in both the 100 and the 200.

“I’ve learned to be positive through the tough times,” McBride said, “and to have fun.”

“I love that it’s [track] a team sport, but you work individually, and I enjoy the hard work it takes to win.”

CHS track coach Chris Hawk said he is glad he’ll be able to see her compete in person. “She has really focused in on this year’s track season,” he said. “It has been fun watching her hard work pay off as she has won both events in most of our meets this year. I have no doubt that she will make big jumps forward at EIU, and I’m looking forward to having her in Charleston where I can continue to cheer her on.”