Track and Field picks up five wins at Ole Miss Invitational

    Cody Dorflein won the pole vault at Ole Miss with a new personal best.

    Cody Dorflein won the pole vault at Ole Miss with a new personal best.

    March 31, 2012

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    By Bill Ford

    OXFORD, Miss. — The Southern Illinois track and field teams combined for five event wins and 26 top-five finishes at the Ole Miss Invitational Saturday.

    All-American thrower Jeneva McCall continued her senior season tear to highlight the Saluki effort for the day. The senior picked up wins the shot put and discus and came in second in the hammer throw.

    “It wa s a really long day and it was really hot but she competed today,” SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith said of McCall. “Everything she competed in, she did well despite the heat.”

    McCall’s winning discus throw of 190-01 set a new facility record at the Ole Miss Track and Field complex and overtakes the current longest mark in the nation. SIU swept the top three spots in the disk as freshman Ashley Gaston took second at 166-03 and freshman DeAnna Price took third at 151-08.

    McCall won the shot put with a throw of 57-03.75 while junior Kim Fortney came in third at 48-10.00 and Price finished just outside the top five in sixth at 45-06.00.

    Current or former Salukis took the top five places in the women’s hammer throw led by alumna Gwen Berry’s win with a throw of 222-02. McCall was the top collegiate finisher with a throw of 218-11 while former Saluki Brittany Riley was close behind with a heave of 218-03. Fortney took fourth with a career-best throw of 195-02 while Price rounded out the top five with a throw of 194-05.



    Senior Collin Otto led SIU’s male throwers with a second-place finish in the hammer throw with a throw of 187-08 while freshman Bradley Sauer came in fourth in the hammer at 181-04. Freshman Curtis Wideman also picked up a fourth-place finish in the discus with a throw of 162-02 and finished just outside the top five with a sixth-place finish in the shot put at 51-09.00.

    Senior Cody Doerflein had a historic day in the pole vault, taking the event win by clearing a height of 17-06.50. With the effort, Doerflein raised his previous career best, the second-highest in SIU history, by a quarter-inch.

    “Cody not only won, he took some really good attempts at 18 feet,” Price-Smith said.

    Senior Malaikah Love had a big day in the sand pit, winning the triple jump with a mark of 40-11.76 and taking second in the long jump with a distance of 19:01.5. Kenya Culmer wrapped up solid day for the Saluki women’s field contingent with a fourth-place finish in the high jump with a height of 5-07.00.

    Sophomore Doug Palacious led SIU’s male jumpers, finishing fifth in the men’s long jump with a career-best leap of 22-11.25 and taking sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 48-09.50.

    On the track, the Saluki effort was highlighted by historic days from freshman Amiris Warren and junior Tess Shubert.

    Warren had an impressive day in sprints, taking third in the 100-meter dash and seventh in the 200-meter dash, and helping the SIU 4x100 meter relay team to a fourth-place finish out of 20 teams.

    Warren’s 100 time of 11.76 ranks as the sixth-fastest in SIU history and her 200 time of 24.62 is just a tenth of a second shy of SIU’s top 10 list. The SIU 4x100 team, which also included Lauren Cheadle, Desiree White and Nirupama Sunderraj, finished in a time of 46.64.

    “Amiris got out there and ran really well in all her races today,” Price-Smith said. “She is coming along nicely as a freshman.”

    Shubert took second in the 400-meter hurdles in 59.69, the fourth-fastest time in SIU history. She also became just the fifth Saluki to finish the event in under a minute.

    “Tess’s goal was to get under the minute barrier and she did that today,” Price-Smith said. “She is a really hard worker and it paid off for her today.”

    The SIU women ended the night with a fourth-place finish in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:46.78.

    The men’s track squad was led by junior Lucas Cherry’s win in the 3k steeple chase in a time of 9:25.57. Senior Brad Wrage also finished the event in fifth-place at 9:38.92.

    “Lucas said he was waiting somebody to take the lead in the steeple, but nobody ever did, so he just kept running,” Price-Smith said.

    Junior Zach Dahleen ran a career-best 800-meter time of 1:50.97 to take second overall with the top time among attached competitors. Southern had three 800-meter runners finish in the top 10 among the 57-runner field as senior Stephen Arvanis finished sixth at 1:53.20 and junior Jawon Smith took eighth at 1:54.02.

    The Saluki men took two of the top four spots in the 5k as senior Kyle Kirchner took third in 14:43.69 and senior Neal Anderson came in fourth at 14:43.72. Kirchner and Anderson were the top finishers among attached runners.

    The Saluki women picked up a pair of top-five finishes in the 3k steeplechase as Kelley Gallagher came in fourth at 11:21.20 and Sadie Darnell took fifth at 11.35.06.

    Freshman Lacey Gibson also had a strong showing for the SIU distance contingent with a fourth-place finish in the women’s 5k in a time of 17:50.52 while freshman Mobola Rotibi picked up a fourth-place finish in the women’s 800-meter run in a time of 2:13.98.

    The SIU track and field teams will be back in action Saturday, April 7 when the Salukis travel to Illinois State for a dual meet.

    “I think we are on the right track as we head towards conference,” Price-Smith said.