Lambert won his fourth hammer throw in four attempts with a mark of 66.92m (219-07), six feet better than second place.
Saluki seniors Kim Fortney (shot put) and J.C. Lambert (hammer throw) won event titles.
Lauren Cheadle and J.C. Lambert both won event titles at Day One.
Speakers at the ceremony included SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng, Director of Athletics Mario Moccia and Saluki Hall of Fame member Lew Hartzog himself.
A dedication ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. before the meet begins at 2:30 p.m.
Last updated on Oct. 8, 2012
|Price-Smith holding her 2010 MVC women's Coach of the Year award.|
|Price-Smith prepares for a shot put attempt.|
A four-time Olympian and one of the most decorated athletes Southern Illinois has produced, Connie Price-Smith enters her 12th season as head coach at her Alma Mater. After spending her first three years as the head women's coach, Price-Smith took over the combined men's and women's program in 2004-05 and has since kept SIU track and field among the top programs in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Under Price-Smith, a 1990 SIU Hall of Fame inductee, the Saluki women's team has won four conference titles and finished a program-best ninth in the nation at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A four-time MVC Coach of the Year, Price-Smith has coached SIU athletes to a combined 51 All-America honors and five individual national titles. Also, SIU athletes have won a combined 148 MVC individual titles with Price-Smith at the helm.
The Price-Smith led Salukis continued their MVC dominance in 2012, notching 16 more MVC Individual Championships, 13 All-Americans, an MVC Track and Field Most Valuable Player (Jeneva McCall, Indoor), and two more individual national championships across both the indoor and outdoor season.
The Saluki men took the Missouri Valley indoor conference title, claiming four event titles to edge out Indiana State. The championship was the first for the men in 20 years and was the fifth MVC team championship won under Price-Smith's tutelage.
Senior thrower Jeneva McCall brought the Salukis to national prominence with her two individual national championships in the hammer throw in both seasons. McCall recorded five MVC event championships in 2012 alone, which gave her 10 total titles during her career at Southern.
The 2011 season saw both the Saluki men's and women's squads take second place at the MVC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, winning a combined 23 individual conference titles between the two seasons. The teams also garnered a combined nine All-America honors in 2011.
The 2011 indoor season was highlighted by senior Jeff Schirmer winning MVC Most Valuable Athlete honors for scoring the most points on the men's side at the MVC Championships, while junior Jeneva McCall was named Most Outstanding Field Athlete for the women. SIU sent five athletes to the NCAA Indoor Finals, where Salukis took home four All-American honors.
Schirmer followed up with another Most Valuable Athlete nod at the MVC Outdoor Championships, while McCall was again named Most Outstanding Field Athlete. Fourteen Salukis qualified for the NCAA Regionals with five advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Finals, earning five All-American honors.
Salukis earned three of the four available MVC Elite 18 honors for track and field in 2011 as Lucas Cherry (men's outdoor), Toni Whitfield (women's outdoor) and Emily Toennies (women's indoor) earned the award. Toennies was also awarded the MVC's prestigious Emerson Excellence Award.
In 2010, Price-Smith led the SIU track and field to one of the best seasons in recent memory, with seven different athletes earning NCAA All-American honors, McCall winning the national championship in the discus and the women's team finishing ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In addition, the women's team won the MVC Outdoor Championship for a second consecutive season as Price-Smith earned her fourth MVC Coach of the Year honor. McCall became the first Saluki in program history to earn All-America honors in five events in the same season.
The 2009 season saw the SIU women's team sweep the MVC Indoor and Outdoor titles with Price-Smith earning women's Coach of the Year honors for both seasons.
Between 2005 and 2008, the SIU women's team advanced athletes to both the NCAA Outdoor and Indoor Championships each season, finishing in the top 25 nationally four times. The 2007 and 2008 women's indoor team finished 19th and 17th in the nation, respectively, thanks to Southern's only female back-to-back national champion, Brittany Riley (weight throw). The 2008 outdoor team finished in a tie for 25th nationally, the program's best finish until the 2010 season.
In addition to her duties at SIU, Price-Smith has been involved in coaching at the international level for USA Track and Field since 2004. She served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2004 IAAF World Junior championships, the 2005 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 World Cup. Price-Smith served as Team USA's head coach at the 2007 Pan American Games before serving on her first Olympics coaching staff the following year as an assistant women's coach for throws at the 2008 Beijing Games. She has also been selected as head women's coach for Team USA at the 2011 IAAF World Championships and the assistant women's coach for throws at the 2012 London Olympics.
Price-Smith began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Ohio State after retiring from a successful 14-year career as a world-class thrower. In addition to competing in the Olympics in 2000 (Sydney), 1996 (Atlanta), 1992 (Barcelona) and 1988 (Seoul), Price-Smith is a 25-time national champion in the shot put and discus.
All told, Price-Smith won 18 outdoor national titles, six indoor titles and five Olympic trials championship titles during her post-collegiate career. Her world rankings in the shot put in 1995 (6th), 1996 (5th), 1997 (6th), 1998 (3rd) and 1999 (7th) made her the first U.S. woman to be world-ranked in the shot put for five consecutive seasons.
In 1992, Price-Smith became the first woman to win both the shot put and discus at an Olympic trial in 32 years. In 1995, she became the first U.S. woman in 35 years to win a World Championship medal in the shot put. Though Price-Smith never won an Olympic medal, her fifth-place finish in the shot put at the 1996 Atlanta Games is the highest finish by a U.S. woman in the event since 1960.
Ironically, Price-Smith only competed for the Saluki track and field team for one season after wrapping up a successful four-year basketball career at SIU. From 1980-84, Price-Smith was a center for the Salukis under coach Cindy Scott.
A two-time All-Gateway Conference selection, Price-Smith scored 1,271 points and pulled down 744 rebounds during her basketball career. She still ranks in the top 10 in school history in career scoring, rebounding, rebound average, field goal percentage, free throws made and free throws attempted.
Price-Smith threw the shot put for the first time as a senior at the urging of former SIU track and field standout John Smith, whom she married in 1990 and now coaches alongside. She quickly became dominant in the shot put and discus, winning MVC indoor and outdoor titles in the shot put in 1985. She ranks fifth in SIU history in the discus, eighth in the outdoor shot put and ninth in the indoor shot put.
In addition to being inducted into the SIU Hall of Fame in 1990, Price-Smith also received the SIU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 and was named the Administrative/Professional Woman of Distinction in 2007. She was also selected for induction to the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 2012 as an Institutional Great.
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