Freeman breaks outdoor shot put record as Saluki men finish first, women second at conclusion of 2014 Bill Cornell Spring Classic

    Josh Freeman's SIU and MVC record setting attempt.

    Josh Freeman's SIU and MVC record setting attempt.

    March 29, 2014

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    By Tyler Wooten

    All regional or national rankings were calculated at the time of writing. Rankings will change as results are reported throughout the weekend.

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field got off to an excellent start to the outdoor season at the 2014 Bill Cornell Spring Classic, as the SIU men emerged victorious and the Saluki women finished in second place at the conclusion of the meet on Saturday at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex.

    Southern won nine event titles (six men, three women) on Day Two to push its meet total to 11 overall. Thanks to six event titles of their own on Day Two the Saluki men struck back against defending Missouri Valley Conference champions Indiana State, besting the second-place Sycamores 180-156. The Saluki women fell within 20 meet points of Indiana State, as the defending MVC champion Sycamores kept SIU at bay with a 197-176.50 victory.

    Of those six event crowns on the men's side, none were more impressive than sophomore Josh Freeman's performance in the shot put. Amid cold and windy conditions, Freeman -- who broke and reset his own indoor shot put record (19.43m/63-09.00) during the indoor season -- once again broke SIU throws coach John Smith's 30-year old outdoor record (62-03.50) with a winning heave of 19.12m (62-08.75).

    Freeman's throw also registers as the all-time best in MVC history, reclaiming the record for SIU after Smith's record was toppled in 2012 by UNI's Justin Romero (62-04.50). Currently, his throw registers as the fourth-best throw in the NCAA West Region and the sixth-best in the country.

    Junior Curtis Wideman won his second event crown of the meet with his victory in the hammer throw on Saturday. Just one day after winning the discus, Wideman won the hammer on a personal-best throw of 63.83m (209-05) -- two meters better than his previous best. Wideman moves up to fourth all-time at SIU from seventh place, joining All-Americans Adam Judge, Mark Milleville and J.C. Lambert in the top-four. His throw currently ranks ninth regionally and 16th nationally. He also finished third in the shot put behind Freeman with a throw of 16.35m (53-07.75).

    Senior Zach Dahleen announced his return for his final outdoor season with a victory in the 1500 meter run. Dahleen got out to an early lead on the pack and never relented, as he clocked in at 3:49.99 -- eight second before second-place finisher David Timlin of Indiana State (3:57.61) even crossed the finish line. Although the time was nearly eight seconds off his SIU all-time record of 3:41.18, Dahleen still set the facility record -- this being just the third meet at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex in two seasons of competition.

    Freshman Kyle Landon also set a new facility record in the high jump with a winning clearance of 2.09m (6-10.25). Not far behind was the other half of SIU's one-two high jump punch, sophomore Kemar Jones, who finished third at 2.04m (6-08.25).

    SIU's success in the jumps continued, as junior transfer Luke James completed the Saluki sweep in the male jumping events with his victory in the triple jump. James leapt a personal best 14.70m (48-02.75) for the win, exactly one foot further than second-place finisher Davin Dollison of Western Illinois (14.38m/47-02.25). Freshman Franklin Adams (fourth place, 13.63m/44-08.75) and sophomore Louis Dotson (sixth, 13.27m/43-06.50) also scored for SIU in the event.

    Southern's final male title of the day came from freshman Nathan Schuck in the pole vault, who cleared 4.60m (15-01.00) in steadily harsh winds for the victory.

    The Saluki women, on the other hand, took away three event titles of their own -- including two SIU wins on the track.

    Junior and indoor national qualifier Sophia Lozano kept her momentum rolling with a season-opening victory in the hammer throw. Lozano bested her previous PR by two meters with a winning mark of 56.20m (184-04). Two meters behind her was sophomore Alexus Scott in second place, who demolished her previous best by over four meters at 54.32m (178-02). Behind her were juniors Ashley Gaston (fifth place, 52.10m/170-11 PR) and Erin Scott (eighth place, 49.39m/162-00).

    Indiana State All-American Mary Theisen took home the shot put title, but that didn't stop the Saluki women from grabbing a large load of meet points in the shot. Gaston finished two feet behind Theisen in second place at 14.84m (48-08.25), and scoring behind her were Alexus Scott (fourth, 13.90m/45-07.25) and Erin Scott (seventh, 13.06m/42-10.25).

    Saluki distance runners claimed the final two SIU victories. First was junior Krista Menghini, who translated her torrid pace of the indoor season outdoors in easy fashion. Menghini braved the steeplechase despite the bitter wind and wound up with a winning, personal-best time of 11:01.67 -- which, improved upon her standing in fifth all-time at SIU by nearly one second. Her time currently ranks as the 11th-best in the west region.

    Senior Alyssa Allison also put her name into the SIU record books with her winning performance in the 800 meter run. Allison won with a personal-best time of 2:11.00, which ties teammate Mobola Rotibi for sixth all-time at SIU. Allison's time also ranks 25th regionally and 42nd nationally as of right now.

    Next up for SIU is the Big Blue Classic, hosted by Eastern Illinois, on April 4-5 in Charleston, Ill.

    Other Scorers (Men)
    Pole Vault
    t-2. Alex Lietz - 4.45m (14-07.25)
    4. Chad Weaver - 4.30m (14-01.25)
    5. Zachary Reed - 4.30m (14-01.25)
    7. Haeden Sweetin - 4.30m (14-01.25)

    2. Dean Jordan - 52.16m (171-01)
    5. Xzavier Kimbrough - 44.49m (145-11)
    6. Haeden Sweetin - 41.56m (136-04)
    7. Kurtis Siemsen - 39.66m (130-01)
    8. Andrew Carmin - 37.70m (123-08)

    3000 Meter Steeplechase
    3. Juan Carrera - 9:26.80 - PR

    110 Meter Hurdles
    6. Kemar Jones - 14.69
    7. Matthew Benes - 14.74

    100 Meter Dash
    6. Matthew Benes -11.02

    5000 Meter Run
    3. Oscar Medina - 14:45.74 - PR

    Other Scorers (Women)
    High Jump
    2. Katie Trupp - 1.53m (5-00.25)
    4. Amy Rzepczynski - 1.53m (5-00.25)

    Pole Vault
    3. Katie Trupp - 3.51m (11-06.25)
    6. Cara Engel - 3.51m (11-06.25)

    Triple Jump
    3. Alauna Ray - 11.25m (36-11.00)
    4. Sarah Rautio - 11.23m (36-10.25)

    4. Caselyn Harding - 32.94m (108-01) - PR
    5. Stephanie Milroy - 32.75m (107-05)

    4x100 Meter Relay
    4. Lauren Cheadle, Nirupama Sunderraj, Desiree White, Amiris Warren - 48.71

    1500 Meter Run
    3. Mobola Rotibi - 4:39.87 - PR
    4. Kelley Gallagher - 4:40.10

    100 Meter Dash
    2. Lauren Cheadle - 12.10 - PR
    7. Nirupama Sunderraj - 12.60

    200 Meter Dash
    3. Nirupama Sunderraj - 25.71

    5000 Meter Run
    2. Tori Parry - 17:48.23 - PR
    4. Eileen Schweiss - 18:24.03

    4x400 Meter Relay
    3. McKenzie White, Amiris Warren, Mobola Rotibi, Nirupama Sunderraj - 3:59.49

    Men's Team Scores (19 events scored):
    1. Southern Illinois - 180
    2. Indiana State - 156
    3. Eastern Illinois - 138
    4. Illinois State - 94
    5. Wisconsin-Milwaukee - 78
    6. Western Illinois - 50.50
    7. UMKC - 34.50

    Women's Team Scores (19 events scored):
    1. Indiana State - 197
    2. Southern Illinois - 176.50
    3. Illinois State - 99
    4. Eastern Illinois - 96
    5. UMKC - 63
    6. Wisconsin-Milwaukee - 60
    7. Western Illinois - 23.50