Track & Field excels at Drake, Memphis

    Toni Whitfield took her first event title of 2011 with a win in the javelin

    Toni Whitfield took her first event title of 2011 with a win in the javelin

    April 30, 2011

    Final Stats

    By Michael Benson
    SIUSalukis.com

    DES MOINES, Iowa - Senior thrower Gwen Berry successfully defended her Drake Relays hammer throw title Saturday with a personal best mark of 231-04 as the Saluki track & field team wrapped up competition in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Berry's record toss now elevates her to the best mark in the nation. Additionally, the St. Louis native came six feet short of the meet record of 237-11 held by Southern Illinois alumna Brittany Riley.

    "Gwen had a really good throw in the hammer," said head coach Connie Price-Smith. "(Drake) is a really good place to compete and there's a lot of good competition."

    "It's the time of the year when your body's starts to freshen up to get ready for conference and nationals."

    Also in the women's hammer throw, Olga Ciura claimed eighth place with a throw of 196-06.

    On the men's side, Jake Deiters showed his mettle in the men's discus, taking fourth place with a distance of 174-08. The Breese, Ill., native held off nationally-ranked throwers in Tyler Arnholt of Eastern Illinois and Nebraska's Luke Pinkelman.

    Meanwhile, Zach Dahleen provided SIU with a third top five finish in the 1500m with a time of 3:49.63. That mark is a personal best for the sophomore.

    J.C. Lambert finished 14th in the men's hammer throw with a mark of 196-07.

    Track & Field earns five event titles at Memphis Tiger Invitational
    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
    Malaikah Love and Kim Fortney both set meet records this weekend as Southern Illinois took five wins at the Memphis Tiger Invitational.

     

     

    Fortney crushed the old record with a distance of 188-09 to take the top spot. The sophomore was joined in second by teammate Rickael Roach, who reached 178-01. In the long jump, Love claimed first and the meet record with a mark of 19-06.25.

    "We had a lot of good stuff that happened here," Price-Smith said. "There were some personal bests, seasonal bests and some all-around good competition for them to go in and get ready for conference."

    Toni Whitfield earned her first event title of the season Saturday in the women's javelin, as she beat out teammates Jessica Vermeulen and Mallory Dreyer with a mark of 130-05. Vermeulen placed second at 117-11, while Dreyer took third at 114-02.

    On the men's side, the Dawgs took titles in two events. Maxim Bakana took top prize in the long jump with a length of 22-09.25. Also, the 4x100 relay team of Brandon Deloney, Justin Kozak, Kenny Blanks and Anthony Seay bested the field with a time of 40.95.

    Tim Robberstad broke into the top ten in SIU pole vault history, reaching a height of 16-07.50.

    Furthermore, the Salukis claimed eight second place finishes at the meet, as Tess Shubert (400m), Tredene Gant (400m hurdles), Love (triple jump), Fortney (sot put), Roach (discus), Lucas Cherry (1500m), Douglas Palacious (triple jump) and Brad Foote (hammer throw) all took silver.

    As a whole, the team garnered 40 top five finishes in the Mid-South.

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