Senior Lucas Cherry won the men's 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:16.31.
April 19, 2013
By Tyler Wooten
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Saluki track and field won two events, placed two runners-up and qualified for finals in six sprinting events at Day Three of the 86th running of the historic Kansas Relays on Friday.
Southern's first title came courtesy of Bahamian high jumper Kenya Culmer, who won her third high jump title of the outdoor season. Culmer won with a clearance of 1.73m (5-08.00), her second-best jump outdoors in 2013.
Culmer considered the win a confidence boost heading into the home stretch before the Missouri Valley Conference Championships beginning May 9.
"By winning it afforded me some confidence," Culmer said, "but I feel that I could have done much better."
Saluki distance runner Lucas Cherry picked up the second SIU win with his fourth career victory in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Cherry ran three seconds better than second place, clocking in at 9:16.31.
Cherry knew the competition would be stiff, but in the end his gameplan worked out for him.
"(The race) felt good," Cherry said. "I went out about right but I just knew I had to run my race. Those first two guys went out pretty hard, but I had done my research and I knew they probably weren't going to be able to keep that pace so I just let them go and just reeled them back in as I went."
Also finishing high with Cherry was Juan Carrera, who finished in fifth place at 9:33.31, a personal best.
Junior Dougie Palacious recorded yet another stellar performance in the triple jump, leaping 14.88m (48-10.00) for second place. Palacious has not finished worse than third in the triple jump outdoors in 2013.
Saluki sprinters also had a fine day, qualifying for finals in six events to be run tomorrow.
On the men's side, two freshman Salukis qualified in both the 400 meter dash and hurdles. Brett Kohler qualified with a time of 54.25 seconds for sixth place in the 400 hurdles, and Missouri Valley 400 meter dash leader Nikolai Gall clocked in at 49.38 for fourth place.
Senior Tess Shubert led the Saluki women with a second place preliminary finish in the 400 meter hurdles at 1:00.19. Shubert will look to claim her third victory in the event this outdoor season in finals tomorrow.
Finally, the Saluki women 4x100 meter relay team of Lauren Cheadle, Shubert, Desiree White and Amiris Warren secured their spot in finals tomorrow with a qualifying time of 47.32 seconds, which gave them a preliminary finish of fourth.
Southern also had a decent showing in both the men's and women's shot put, placing two student-athletes in the top-12 in each event.
The men were once again led by freshman Josh Freeman, who finished fifth with a launch of 17.13m (56-02.50). Not far behind Freeman was sophomore Bradley Sauer, who threw 16.43m (53-11.00) for ninth place.
Senior Kim Fortney led the women with a third place finish in the event, her best throw measuring out at 15.95m (52-04.00). Sophomore Erin Scott also placed within the top-third of competitors at 12th place by throwing a personal best 13.89m (45-07.00).
The final day of the Kansas Relays begins at 8 a.m. tomorrow, with the first collegiate event (women's pole vault) taking place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.