Salukis claim six top-five finishes at Day Two of Sea Ray Relays on Friday

    Junior Krista Menghini

    Junior Krista Menghini

    April 11, 2014


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    By Tyler Wooten

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Saluki track and field came away with six top-five finishes after the second day of competition at the Tennessee Sea Ray Relays on Friday.

    Sophomore Josh Freeman led the way on the men's side with two top-five finishes of his own. The Fox River Grove, Ill., native finished third in the discus at a sizable personal best of 52.92m (173-07), which now ranks as the eighth-best throw in Saluki history. Freeman followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the shot put, where he threw 19.18m (62-11.25). Freeman is SIU's all-time leader in both the indoor and outdoor shot put and, as of the previous two meets, the all-time Missouri Valley Conference outdoor record holder at 19.35m (63-06.00).

    Junior Curtis Wideman also placed within the top-third of finishers in the shot put in 10th place at a season-best throw of 16.43m (53-11.00)

    Sophomore Kemar Jones continued his hot start to the outdoor season with yet another personal best in the 110 meter hurdles. Jones, a native of St. Phillip, Barbados, finished third in the hurdles on Friday at 14.25 seconds -- two hundredths quicker than his previous best, both of which rank 10th all-time at SIU.

    Senior Zach Dahleen took his first crack at the outdoor 800 meter run in two years on Friday and ended up finishing third at 1:52.03. The Orland Park, Ill., native set an 800 meter PR of 1:50.97 in 2012, and he ranks 10th all-time at SIU in the event indoors at 1:51.98.



    Junior Brian Dixon ran for the first time since the cross country season last fall on Friday in the 5,000 meter run, where he finished seventh at 14:51.62. Fellow junior and distance runner Oscar Medina also garnered a top-third finish, his coming in the 1,500 meter run (11th place, 3:55.86).

    The Saluki men also gained two solid personal bests in the 200 meter dash. Senior Matthew Benes ran 21.79 seconds for 16th place, and junior Spencer Jackson hit a PR for the second straight week at 22.03 (22nd place).

    On the women's side, senior Alyssa Allison put her name into the SIU record books for the second time in three weeks. Allison finished eighth in the 1,500 meter run at a personal-best time of 4:32.52, which now ranks ninth all-time at Southern. Just two weeks ago at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic Allison etched herself into a tie for sixth all-time in the 800 meter run at 2:11.00 -- tying her with teammate Mobola Rotibi.

    Southern's female distance runners also got two PRs in the 5,000 meter run. Junior Krista Menghini hasn't lost a beat since her strong indoor season, setting a personal best in the 3,000 meter steeplechase two weeks ago at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic, and now another PR in the 5K on Friday. Menghini finished fifth overall at 17:18.02 in the event, and was followed by another career performance from junior Tori Parry in 10th place (17:37.63).

    Rotibi (seventh place, 2:12.01) and fellow junior Allison Gallo (17th place, 2:16.20) each posted top-third finishes in the 800 meter run on Friday as well.

    SIU's final top-five finish came from senior high jumper Kenya Culmer. The Nassau, Bahamas, native finished fifth in the event with a clearance of 1.75m (5-08.75). Junior transfer Cetrena Simmons was right behind her in sixth place at a personal-best height of 1.70m (5-07.00).

    The third and final day of the relays will begin at 11 a.m. with the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase.