Freshman Kyle Landon won the high jump with a clearance of 2.10m (6-10.75), the best mark at SIU in nine years.
Jan. 11, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field won both its men's dual meet with Belmont and its women's tri-meet against Belmont and Austin Peay with 11 more event titles on Day Two to conclude the Saluki Open on Saturday at the SIU Student Recreation Center.
The Saluki men defeated Belmont in their dual-meet by a score of 256-65, thanks largely to seven total event wins. The SIU women (248) took care of both Austin Peay (137) and Belmont (49) with seven total event crowns to their own.
Day Two began with the women's shot put, where junior DeAnna Price cleared her personal best yet again. Price threw 16.29m (53-05.50) for second place in the shot put (behind former Saluki star Jeneva McCall), which now ranks fourth all-time at SIU indoors behind All-Americans McCall, Amarachi Ukabam and Gwen Berry. Her mark also currently ranks as the sixth-best in the country.
Southern had similar success in the men's shot put, where Salukis inhabited the top five spots. Sophomore Josh Freeman rode an 18.19m (59-08.25) throw to victory, which currently ranks 13th nationally. Behind him in the top-three were Curtis Wideman (second place, 16.75m/54-11.50) and Jeff Stewart (third place, 16.13m/52-11.00).
The shot put was followed by the triple jump, which was led off by the first of two victories by senior Kenya Culmer on Day Two. Culmer won the triple jump first with a winning leap of 12.11m (39-08.75), and was followed by newcomers Cetrena Simmons (second place, 11.62m/38-01.50) and Alauna Ray (third place, 11.59m/38-00.25) in the top-three.
Culmer then went on to claim victory in the high jump later on in the day with a winning clearance of 1.79m (5-10.50) -- one-quarter inch off her indoor personal best and indoor SIU record of 1.80m (5-10.75). Culmer narrowly missed setting a new school record in either high jump on her final attempt of 1.82m (5-11.75). Her winning clearance is currently the third-best in the country.
Her male counterparts were equally as successful in the high jump. Freshman and Chester, Ill., product Kyle Landon won his first collegiate high jump title in his first try with a winning leap of 2.10m (6-10.75) -- one-quarter inch off cracking SIU's illustrious male indoor top-ten list that includes three Olympians. Landon's leap is currently tied for 14th in the country, and is the best high jump mark at SIU since 2005 (Freddy Rule, 7-01.50).
Sophomore Kemar Jones also had an impressive day in the high jump, setting a new PR in second place at 2:05m (6-08.75) -- two-and-three-quarter inches better than his previous best.
Junior transfer Luke James completed the Saluki sweep in the jumps with his performance in the men's triple jump. James, a transfer from Bethel University, won with his best leap of 13.87m (45-06.25). At Bethel, James was an NAIA All-American, three-time national qualifier and four-time conference champion.
On the track, SIU gained six of its 14 total event wins. The Saluki sprinters began the day with a 60 meter dash victory from Lauren Cheadle, who once again bested her PR with a blazing time of 7.63 seconds -- the seventh-best time in SIU history.
The men's 60 meter hurdles were overrun by Salukis, with all four finals spots belonging to SIU sprinters. Senior Matthew Benes won with a time of 8.12, and he was followed by Kemar Jones (second place, 8.15, PR), Xzavier Kimbrough (third place, 8.83) and Dean Jordan (fourth place, 8.95).
Southern's distance and mid-distance runners came away with two victories as well. Junior Sadie Darnell came within one-tenth of a second of her PR in the mile with her winning time of 5:02.98. Right behind Darnell was fellow junior Mobola Rotibi, who did eclipse her previous best with a time of 5:03.52.
In the men's 800 meter run, mid-distance runner and freshman Andrew Carmin came away with his first event victory as a Saluki with a winning time of 2:00.02.
SIU's sprinters capped the day off with a Saluki sweep in the 4x400 meter relays. The Saluki women's "A" relay of McKenzie White, Tyra Wooten, Mobola Rotibi and Nirupama Sunderraj won with a time of 3:59.46, and the men's "A" team of Matthew Benes, Spencer Jackson, Andrew Carmin and Blake Green took home the win with a mark of 3:28.32.
Saluki track and field will hit the road for the first time this season on Jan. 17-18, when it will travel to Lexington, Ky., for the Kentucky Invitational hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Men's Team Scores:
1. Southern Illinois - 256
2. Belmont - 65
Women's Team Scores:
1. Southern Illinois - 248
2. Austin Peay - 137
3. Belmont - 49
Women's 400 meter dash:
5. Nirupama Sunderraj - 59.92
Women's 800 meter run:
3. Jessica Jump - 2:23.84 - PR
Women's 3000 meter run:
3. Lacey Gibson - 10:14.44 - PR
Men's 400 meter run:
2. Blake Green - 51.56