Men finish third, women fifth at conclusion of MVC Indoor Championships

    Junior Dougie Palacious captured his second career MVC championship in the triple jump, his first during the indoor season. (Photography at MVC Indoor Championships courtesy of Jarrin Williams)

    Junior Dougie Palacious captured his second career MVC championship in the triple jump, his first during the indoor season. (Photography at MVC Indoor Championships courtesy of Jarrin Williams)

    Feb. 24, 2013


    By Tyler Wooten

    CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Saluki track and field brought home two more individual championships and nine additional all-conference honors at Day Two of the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships at the University of Northern Iowa on Sunday.

    The Saluki men led after Day One but ended up falling to third place after powerful performances from No. 25 Indiana State and Wichita State, while the Saluki women finished in fifth place with 77 points after finishing fourth on Day One.

    After winning the 3000 meter run on Day One, Zach Dahleen successfully defended his title in the mile run for his seventh career MVC championship (fifth indoors). Dahleen ran 4:12.02 for the victory, and for his excellent performances the Valley named him Most Valuable Men's Athlete, the first for a Saluki male since Jeff Schirmer in 2011.

    Southern's final title came courtesy of Dougie Palacious in the triple jump. Palacious won his second career MVC title in the triple jump with a season best leap of 15.15m (49-08.50), nearly three inches better than second place.

    SIU earned All-MVC in nine more events on Day Two, pushing their meet total to 14.

    Junior Kenya Culmer placed All-MVC in two events on Day Two: the triple and high jumps. In the high jump, Culmer tied her own personal best (and SIU indoor record) leap of 1.80m (5-10.75) for second place behind Wichita State's JLynn Ledesma, who broke the Missouri Valley and MVC Indoor Championships record with a clearance of 1.86m (6-01.25). In the triple jump, Culmer pushed her personal best with a total leap of 12.51m (41-00.50) for third place, which ranks fourth all-time at SIU in women's indoor competition. Culmer has now been named All-MVC five times in her Saluki career (three indoor, two outdoor).



    Senior Kim Fortney claimed her second All-MVC honor on Day Two with a third place finish in the women's shot put. Fortney threw 15.96m (52-04.50), but -- as with last night -- that mark fell behind two of the best throwers in the country: Brittany Smith of Illinois State (MVC Champion, No. 7 nationally) and Felisha Johnson of Indiana State (second place, No. 2 nationally).

    Freshman Josh Freeman earned his first career All-MVC nod with a runner-up finish in the men's shot put. Freeman, the 26th-ranked shot put thrower in the country, threw 17.16m (56-03.75), but fell short to Indiana State's Derek Bunch.

    Senior Tess Shubert concluded her indoor career with her fourth season of All-MVC distinction (two indoor, two outdoor). Shubert finished in third place finish in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.76 seconds.

    Fellow senior Neal Anderson also earned his fourth season as an All-MVC honoree (two indoor, two outdoor). Anderson led a pack of three Salukis in the men's 5000 meter run, finishing third with a time of 14.36.77.

    Southern's final All-MVC honor came from the men's 4x400 meter relay team of Blake Green, Christopher Nightengale, Brett Kohler and MVC pole vault champion Ryan Sidwell. The relay team finished third with a time of 3:19.53 in a tight finish; less than a second separated the All-MVC finishers.

    The Salukis nearly had three more All-MVC finishers to boast, all of them coming in the men's sprinting events by less than a tenth of a second. Ryan Sidwell missed out in the 400 meter dash by eight hundredths and Matthew Benes missed out in both the 200 meter dash finals (22.17, two hundredths) and 60 meter hurdles (8.05 PR, six hundredths).

    Scoring along the way for the Salukis on the women's side were: Ashley Gaston (shot put, fourth place, 15.79m/51-09.75 PR), Mobola Rotibi (800m finals, fifth place, 2:14.77), Remy Abrought (60m hurdles finals, sixth place, 8.87), Sadie Darnell (5000m, sixth place, 17:25.81 PR), DeAnna Price (shot put, sixth place, 14.67m/48-01.75), Amiris Warren (60m dash finals, seventh place, 7.69) and the 4x400 relay team of Tess Shubert, Nirupama Sunderraj, McKenzie White and Amiris Warren (seventh place, 3:57.88).

    Scoring for the Saluki men were: Brian Cooper (shot put, fourth place, 16.99/55-09.00), Blake Green (200m finals, fifth place, 22.72), Brian Dixon (5000m, sixth place, 14:49.89 PR), Oscar Medina (mile, sixth place, 4:18.31), Eric Reeves (60m dash finals, sixth place, 6.99) and Nick Schrader (5000m, seventh place, 14:50.56 PR)

    "There were a few bright spots and I'm very pleased at the way some of the athletes competed, but dissatisfied with the way others performed," said head coach Connie Price-Smith.

    "We have a lot of work to do to get ready for the outdoor season," Price-Smith continued, "so that will be our focus for the next three weeks."

    The last remaining indoor event of the 2013 season is the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Mar. 8-9 for those who qualify.

    MVC Champions:
    Zach Dahleen - Mile, 3000m
    Dougie Palacious - Triple Jump
    Ryan Sidwell - Pole Vault

    Neal Anderson - 5000m (third place)
    Kenya Culmer - High Jump (second place), Triple Jump (third place)
    Zach Dahleen - Mile (first place), 3000m (first place)
    Josh Freeman - Shot Put (second place)
    Kim Fortney - Weight Throw (third place), Shot Put (third place)
    Dougie Palacious - Triple Jump (first place)
    Bradley Sauer - Weight Throw (second place)
    Tess Shubert - 400m dash (third place)
    Ryan Sidwell - Pole Vault (first place)
    Women's Distance Medley Relay - Alyssa Allison, McKenzie White, Allison Gallo, Kelley Gallagher (third place)
    Men's 4x400 relay - Blake Green, Christopher Nightengale, Brett Kohler, Ryan Sidwell (third place)

    Men's Final Team Scores:
    1. No. 25 Indiana State - 164.50
    2. Wichita State - 137
    3. Southern Illinois - 122
    4. Northern Iowa - 120
    5. Drake - 70
    6. Illinois State - 43.50

    Women's Final Team Scores
    1. Wichita State - 147
    2. No. 17 Indiana State - 138
    3. Illinois State - 122
    4. Missouri State - 88
    5. Southern Illinois - 77
    6. Northern Iowa - 41
    7. Bradley - 25
    8. Drake - 24