Salukis snag one more title at final day of Indiana Relays

    Junior Mobola Rotibi ranks in the top-10 in the MVC in both the 800 meter (10th) and mile (seventh) runs.

    Junior Mobola Rotibi ranks in the top-10 in the MVC in both the 800 meter (10th) and mile (seventh) runs.

    Feb. 1, 2014

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    By Tyler Wooten

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Saluki track and field claimed one more event title at the final day of the Indiana Relays at the Gladstein Fieldhouse on Saturday, pushing its two-day meet total to four.

    Southern's lone event win came early in the day from junior Mobola Rotibi, who capped an impressive weekend in Bloomington with a victory in the 800 meter run invitational. Rotibi won with a time of 2:14.61, a team-best for SIU in 2014 and the 10th-best time in the Missouri Valley Conference this year. Yesterday Rotibi was the runner-up in the open mile run with a team-best time of 4:59.64.

    Junior DeAnna Price was the runner-up and highest collegiate finisher in the weight throw invitational, finishing behind 2013 NCAA weight throw champion and former Indiana State Sycamore, Felisha Johnson. Price earned the top collegiate mark with a solid throw of 20.71m (67-11.50), just under two inches shy of her personal best (20.75m/68-01.00).

    Behind Price in the weight throw invitational were Sophia Lozano (sixth place, 19.73m/64-08.75) and Ashley Gaston (seventh place, 19.20m/63-00.00). Price, Lozano and Gaston all rank within the top-five in the MVC in the weight, adding to Southern's five student-athletes within the top-10 in the MVC.

    The men's weight throw invitational was equally competitive. Saluki junior Curtis Wideman set a new personal best once again with a 19.81m (65-00.00), which now ranks as the second-best mark in the MVC and seventh all-time at SIU. Former Saluki J.C. Lambert won the event with a winning heave of 22.35m (73-04.00), which is currently the fifth-best distance in the United States.

    Sophomore Josh Freeman faced a similar caliber of competition in the shot put invitational, which, including Freeman, featured five top-40 US throwers -- three of which are currently in the top-10. Freeman finished fifth with a solid launch of 18.64m (61-02.00), just one week after he broke the all-time SIU indoor shot put record that was held by SIU throws coach John Smith for nearly 30 years.

    The Saluki women had several other strong performances on Day Two, including Eileen Schweiss in the open 5,000 meter run (fourth place, 17:47.28 PR) and Kenya Culmer in the high jump invitational (1.78m/5-10.00).

    Saluki track and field will return home next weekend, Feb. 7-8, for the SIU Invitational at the SIU Student Recreation Center.