Salukis score one event title and four runners-up at final day of Kentucky Invitational

    Junior DeAnna Price currently ranks 10th nationally in the shot put (16.29m/53-05.50).

    Junior DeAnna Price currently ranks 10th nationally in the shot put (16.29m/53-05.50).

    Jan. 18, 2014


    By Tyler Wooten

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Saluki track and field scored one more event win and four runners-up at the final day of the Kentucky Invitational at the Nutter Fieldhouse on Satrurday.

    Junior DeAnna Price started Day Two by adding another shot put title to her already impressive 2014 resume. Price's best throw of 16.05m (52-08.00) edged out second place finisher Jessica Ramsey of Western Kentucky by nearly one foot. Thus far in the indoor season Price has not finished worse than third in either the shot put or weight throw, and she currently has the fifth-best weight throw mark (20.75m/68-01.00) and the tenth-best shot put mark (16.29m/53-05.50) in the nation.

    Price was followed by two more Salukis in the top-five and three total in the top-15. Sophomore Alexus Scott posted another impressive performance, setting a new personal best of 15.14m (49-08.25) for third place. Scott was followed immediately by junior Ashley Gaston, who threw 15.04m (49-04.25). Scott (32nd) and Gaston (20th) are both ranked within the top-50 in the shot put as well.

    Senior Kenya Culmer nearly claimed her third straight high jump victory on Saturday, but fell just short. Culmer was the highest collegiate finisher behind the unattached Vanessa Jules, who cleared 1.79m (5-10.50) for victory. Jules and Culmer each took three attempts with the bar at 5-10.50, but Jules squeaked by on her final attempt. In third place behind Culmer was junior transfer Cetrena Simmons, who set a personal best height of 1.65m (5-05.00).

    SIU's all-time leader in both indoor and outdoor high jump, Culmer is currently ranked 13th nationally with her 1.79m (5-10.50) clearance at the Saluki Open on Jan. 11.



    Southern also had a close finish in the men's high jump. Freshman Kyle Landon, who just last week posted the best high jump mark at SIU in nine years, set a new collegiate personal best at 2.14m (7-00.25), but finished second behind Arkansas State's Kashef Daniel. Landon and Daniel each cleared the same height, but Landon had one more miss with the bar at 2.11m (6-11.00) than Daniel did. This new PR for Landon is now tied for eighth all-time at SIU in the indoor high jump.

    Fellow freshman Katie Trupp kept her momentum rolling in the women's pole vault as well with a second place finish. Trupp, who already owned the second-best clearance in school history, set a new personal best of 3.75m (12-03.50) -- which, is now within one foot of toppling SIU's all-time indoor record of 13-01.50 (Miracle Thompson, 2010).

    SIU's final runner-up came from the men's shot put, where Josh Freeman earned second place with his best throw of 18.05m (59-02.75). Southern had three more student-athletes in the top-12 in the men's shot put: Curtis Wideman (seventh, 15.76m/51-08.50), Brian Cooper (eighth place, 15.71m/51-06.50) and Jeff Stewart (12th, 15.28m/50-01.75).

    Senior Matthew Benes posted a remarkable day on the track, posting two top-five finishes and three-top-five times. Benes clocked in with the fifth-best preliminary time in the 60 meter dash at a season-best 6.94 seconds, but declined finals. He then went on to finish fifth in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.17. Benes was joined by sophomore Kemar Jones in the hurdles finals, who finished eighth with a finals time of 8.27. Jones' prelim time of 8.15 ties his personal best set at the Saluki Open, the fifth-best time in Saluki history.

    Benes kept it going in the 200 meter dash, where he finished third at 22.09 seconds. He was joined in the top-15 by junior Blake Green (22.56) and freshman Andrew Sledd (22.98).

    The Saluki men posted four top-10 finishes combined in the long and triple jumps. Freshman Franklin Adams had the most successful day out of the horizontal jumps crew for the men, posting a third-place finish in the long jump (7.13m/23-04.75 PR) and a fourth-place finish in the triple jump (13.66m/44-09.75). Ahead of Adams in the triple jump was junior transfer Luke James, who finished third at 13.92m (45-08.00).

    "I think overall we had a good meet," said SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith. "I was excited to see our athletes compete so well, and it was nice to see our freshmen do so well with this being their first big invitational."

    Saluki track and field will hit the road again next Sat., Jan. 25, for the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind.

    Other Notable Finishes:
    Men's Pole Vault
    4. Alex Lietz - 4.85m (15-11.00) - PR, eight inches better than previous best

    Women's Triple Jump
    4. Kenya Culmer - 12.27m (40-03.25)

    Women's Mile Run
    6. Alyssa Allison - 5:06.63

    Men's Long Jump
    8. Dean Jordan - 6.65m (21-10.00)

    Women's Long Jump
    9. Sarah Rautio - 5.58m (18-03.75)

    Women's 400 Meter Dash
    15. McKenzie White - 58.72 - PR

    Women's Shot Put
    15. Erin Scott - 12.67m (41-07.00)