Jan. 28, 2012
By Robin Thuringer
LEXINGTON, Ky.-- The Southern Illinois Track and Field team wrapped up action at the Rod McCravy Invitational hosted by the University of Kentucky Saturday, bringing home a total six event wins.
Reigning Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete and Field Athlete of the Week, Malaikah Love, began the day with a win in the triple jump. Love recorded a leap of 41-00.25 to hold off competitors from Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Ohio State, South Carolina, and Cincinnati. Fellow Senior Nina Okafor placed 14th in the event with a distance of 36-04.75.
"It is nice to compete against schools we don't usually see like Central Florida, South Carolina, and Kentucky," said SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith. "It makes them work harder and shows them that they are just as good as any other school and can compete with them. "
A day after sweeping the weight throw competitions, Jeneva McCall and J.C. Lambert repeated Saturday in the shot put. McCall tossed another NCAA automatic throw of 56-09.50. Lambert posted a mark of 57-01.00 to take the title.
Junior thrower Kim Fortney placed fourth in the shot put and set a new career-best mark of 51-00.75. Fortney also entered the SIU record books with her throw, now ranking her fifth. Rickael Roach also competed placing 18th (43-04.25) and DeAnna Price finished 20th (43-00.25).
On the track, Zach Dahleen dominated in the men's one-mile run, claiming the last of the Saluki wins. Dahleen finished with a time of 4:06.92 edging out 35 competitors. Lucas Cherry placed 11th with a time of 4:14.29.
In the women's 200-meter dash Freshman Amiris Warren recodred a personal best time of 24.74, breaking into the record books tying for fifth overall in SIU history. Warren placed seventh among 49 competitors.
Matthew Benes also recorded a personal best, seventh place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Benes now ranks fourth all-time at SIU with his time of 8.15.
Several Saluki men competed in the men's 3000m run. Dan Dunbar led the pack finishing 7th of 45. Dunbar turned in a time of 8:18.46, setting a new personal record. Neal Anderson rounded out the top-ten, placing tenth, with a time of 8:20.69. Kyle Kirchner finished close behind in the 13th position with a time of 8:24.30.
Stephen Arvanis finished fourth in the men's 800m clocking in at 1:51.38. Jawon Smith finished 11th (1:54.79). Freshman Mobola Rotibi competed for the women finishing 16th with a time of 2:15.13. This currently ranks Rotibi eighth all-time in SIU history.
Winning her heat and placing 11th overall, Tess Shubert posted a time of 56.32 in the women's 400-meter dash. Evelyn Scott also competed placing 29th. On the men's side Blake Green finished 21st with a time of 50.02.
"I thought we had a good day, we got a few wins and personal records so I thought overall we competed really well."
The Dawgs will return to action Feb. 3-4 when they host the Saluki Invitational at the SIU Recreational Center.