Freshman Kyle Landon won the high jump with a new PR of 2.20m (7-02.50).
April 19, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
All national or regional rankings are calculated using the most up-to-date lists at the time of writing. Rankings may or may not change as results are recorded and reported throughout the weekend.
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Saluki track and field won two more event titles on a windy final day of the Kansas Relays at the brand-new Rock Chalk Park on Saturday to wrap up a successful weekend of competition.
Southern's most impressive victory of its three days in Lawrence was also the last of the relays. Freshman Kyle Landon wrapped up the meet with his victory in the high jump -- his ninth out of 11 attempts at SIU across both the indoor and outdoor seasons. The Chester, Ill., native cleared a personal-best height of 2.20m (7-02.50), the second-straight week he has pushed his PR. Landon's high jump victory came not too long after he set a new personal best in the long jump as well with a wind-aided distance of 7.18m (23-06.75), good for 11th place.
"(Heading into the high jump) I was feeling great," Landon said. "I had been looking forward to this meet all week and then to start it off with a PR in the long jump, I was ready to go."
Landon's new high jump best improves upon his position in fifth-place all-time at SIU and now ranks tied for fourth in the NCAA West Region, tied for eighth in all of the NCAA and tied for 28th in the United States among all competitors. The freshman came in at the second height of 1.99m (6-06.25) and didn't miss until 2.17m (7-01.50). After clearing his winning height, he took three tries with the bar at 2.22m (7-03.25), which would have moved him up to fourth all-time at SIU, third regionally, fourth nationally and tied for 19th in the US in 2014.
"I had two really good attempts at (2.22m), my first and last attempts," Landon said. "They were both very close attempts and with a few minor changes I will be over that bar, without a doubt."
"The wind was a little rough; it was a little hard to get off of the back of the ring," Freeman said. "Obviously, everybody had to deal with it so I can't really use it as a crutch. Besides that, given the conditions I am pretty happy with my performance."
Junior Curtis Wideman also competed in the shot put with Freeman, as he finished in seventh place at a season-best and outdoor personal-best distance of 16.70m (54-09.50).
Southern also had five representatives in two finals events that were run on Saturday: senior Matthew Benes in the 110 meter hurdles and the women's 4x100 meter relay of Lauren Cheadle, Nirupama Sunderraj, Desiree White and Amiris Warren.
Benes posted the best time of his Saluki career at 14.27 seconds that put him in sixth place, but the wind reading of 4.4 discounts it for NCAA qualifying purposes. The women's 4x100 meter relay also finished sixth, clocking in at 47.79 seconds.
Freshman Chad Weaver also had an impressive personal best in the men's pole vault. The Frankfort, Ill., native cleared 4.91m (16-01.25) for 16th place in a hotly-contested event. Each of the 15 marks ahead of his rank in the top-75 in the NCAA in 2014.
"The Kansas Relays is always a great place to compete and I was excited to see some of our athletes rise to the occasion," said SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith. "We had three champions and a lot of personal bests and overall good performances."
Only three meets remain before the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships at home at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex on May 16-18. First up is the A-State Red Wolves Open hosted by Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark. on April 25-26.
"There are areas that definitely still need work as we move closer to our conference championships, but I think for the most part we are heading in the right direction," Price-Smith said.