Freshman Josh Freeman
Jan. 26, 2013
By Tyler Wooten
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Southern Illinois track and field wrapped up a solid weekend at the Rod McCravy Invitational at the University of Kentucky Saturday, finishing with two more event titles.
Zach Dahleen won Southern's first event of the day in the mile run with a time of 4:04.23, a season high for the senior from Orland Park. Entering competition, Dahleen had the seventh best mile time in the nation. Immediately following the race, it was announced that Dahleen's McCravy time ranked fourth nationally.
Freshman Josh Freeman continued his excellent initial Saluki campaign with another win in the shot put. Freeman's last heave of 18.32m (60-01.25) is a new personal record and currently ranks fifth all-time in SIU history.
Senior Kim Fortney had yet another valiant effort — this time in the shot put — only to fall just short of an event win. The reigning MVC Scholar-Athlete was the highest collegiate finisher with a mark of 16.19m (53-01.50), which fell two-and-one-quarter inches behind unattached first-place finisher, Ashley Muffet-Duncan.
Saluki distance runners had a solid day at UK in addition to Dahleen's win in the mile. Juan Carrera (second), Nick Schrader (fifth) and Brandon Shemonia (seventh) gave Southern a strong contingent in the men's 3000m race. Carrera's 8:43.10 time is a personal best.
Sophomore Sadie Darnell's 9:54.58 time in the women's 3000m race won heat one, placed 11th overall and was a personal best.
In the men's pole vault, senior Ryan Sidwell was one of the final 12 out of 22 finishers and 30 entrants. Sidwell vaulted 4.85m (15-11.00) for 10th place.
Southern's sprinters were paced by performances by Tess Shubert and Blake Green, and the performances of both 4x400m relay teams. Shubert finished 12th and 17th overall in the 400m and 200m dashes, respectively, and Green finished 10th out of 36 in the 200m dash.
The women's 4x400m relay team won its first heat of the season, and its time of 3:55.19 was the 12th best women's relay time overall. The men's relay team was struggling in its heat before Ryan Sidwell got the baton. Sidwell charged Southern back to second in their heat for his leg as the anchor, pushing Southern's relay time of 3:17.60 to sixth place overall.
"I was very pleased with the way that most of the athletes performed over the course of the two days," said head coach Connie Price-Smith. "It's always good when you can go to a big competition and win events. We had a lot of personal and seasonal bests, but we also have a few areas that we still need to work on. I think for this time of the year we are where I expected us to be.
"We have a home meet next week and I am looking for even better performance then this."
The Salukis come home to Carbondale next week for their final indoor home meet of the season, the SIU Invitational, on February 1-2.