Senior Kim Fortney
April 26, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Saluki track and field posted four top-ten finishers among the best competition in the country at their second day at the prestigious Drake Relays on Friday.
The Drake Relays, in its 104th running, features some of the best professional, collegiate and high school talent in the world. On Friday alone, four world-leading marks were bested, four Drake Relays records were broken, and a slew of rematches from the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012 were held.
The Salukis notched two top-ten finishers in the collegiate women's shot put alone, an event led by the top two Division I throwers in the nation -- Tia Brooks of Oklahoma and Felisha Johnson of Indiana State. Brooks broke her own Drake Relays record in the shot put at 18.57m (60-11.25).
For Southern, senior Kim Fortney finished fourth behind Brooks, Johnson and Missouri's Kearsten Peoples -- who nationally rank first, second and seventh, respectively. Fortney threw a personal best 16.71m (54-10.00), which pushes her within less than a foot of moving up to third all-time at SIU. Furthermore, that throw currently stands as the 15th-best throw in the nation.
Not far behind Fortney was sophomore Ashley Gaston, who finished in seventh place with a season-best mark of 15.71m (51-06.50) -- currently the 42nd-best throw nationally.
Kenya Culmer also finished high for SIU, clearing a season-best mark for fourth place in the women's high jump. Culmer cleared 1.76m (5-09.25) and finished behind three student-athletes within the top-16 nationally.
Competition on Saturday at the Drake Relays begins at 8 a.m. with the shuttle hurdles. The Relays will be featured prominently on the ESPN family of networks with a tape-delayed broadcast on Saturday evening from 7-8:30 p.m.