Jan. 21, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
-- The Southern Illinois Track and Field team finished the first day of the Gladstein Invitational on Friday winning three events and advancing five athletes to final rounds of competiton.
Malaikah Lovestarted the day off for the Salukis with an impressive performance in the pentathlon, winning four of the five events. The Carbondale, Ill. natives final score of 3252 points earned her the top spot well ahead of the second place finisher, Courtney Woodard of Indiana University who finished with 2955 points.
"Malakiah did a great job tonight in the multi," said SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith. "She didn't quite reach the national qualifying mark but it will be something for her to work towards."
Dean Jordan and Ryan Sidwell participated in the men's heptathlon. Sidwell placed second in the shot put and 60m dash, while Dean Jordanfinished first in the high jump. The heptathlon wraps up Saturday afternoon.
In the field events, J.C. Lambert continued his dominance in the weight throw posting a mark of 68-03.75. Bradley Sauer and Collin Ottotook the two and three spots with throws of 59-03.50 and 58-08.50, respectively.
The Saluki women saw success in the shot put. Jeneva McCall once again took the title with a throw of 57-03.75. Kim Fortney placed second, setting a new personal best with a throw of 50-05.25. Ashley Gaston and DeAnna Pricealso bested their previous throws with marks of 45-00.25 and 44-04.25 to take the 11th 12th positions.
In the men's 60m hurdles Matthew Benes and Jeremy Bankstonadvanced to the final heat that will take place on Saturday. Benes qualified with a time of 8.18 to finish third. Bankston rounded out the finalists with a finish of 8.33.
"Today was a good day, I am looking forward to coming back tomorrow and competing the way we did tonight," Price-Smith said. "It is great to get competitive and be able to participate with Big 10 schools and challenge ourselves."
The Gladstein Invitational continues tomorrow at 10:00am ET beginning with the remainder of the men's heptathlon.