Two Salukis win titles on second day of MVC Championships

    Kenya Culmer won her first MVC title with a new SIU record in the high jump.

    Kenya Culmer won her first MVC title with a new SIU record in the high jump.

    May 12, 2012


    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois track and field team had two more individuals win titles in record fashion during the second day of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships Saturday in Wichita, Kan.

    Saluki senior Jeneva McCall broke the MVC Championship record with a win in the shot put for her second title of the meet while sophomore Kenya Culmer broke the SIU record with her win in the high jump.

    McCall posted a personal-best toss of 58-08.50 to beat the previous meet record by nearly two feet and fell just three inches shy of Amarachi Ukabam's SIU/MVC record of 58-11.50 from 2006. She has now won three MVC outdoor shot put titles.

    A win in the discus Sunday would give McCall a sweep in the outdoor throws events for the second time in her career. She also won all three disciplines (hammer, shot, discus) as a sophomore in 2010.

    Culmer posted a career-best jump of 5-11.25, taking out the previous SIU record of 5-10.75 set by Latrice Gray in 2003. She is the first Saluki to win an outdoor high jump title since Gray won back-to-back crowns in 2001 and 2002.

    McCall and Culmer included, five Salukis secured All-Conference honors by virtue of finishing in the top three in their respective events.

    Senior Malaikah Love wasn't able to defend her long jump title, but nonetheless earned All-MVC honors for the fourth consecutive year with a second-place jump of 20-02.50.

    On the men's side, sophomore Douglas Palacious earned his first outdoor All-Conference nod with a third place long jump of 23-08.00, a career-best. Also for the Saluki men, junior Lucas Cherry earned All-MVC honors for the second year in a row with a third place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a career-best time of 9:06.94.



    Outside Southern's All-Conference contingent, the Salukis had several other strong performances to score key points for the team race. Also, several SIU athletes had strong showings in their preliminary races to punch a ticket to Sunday's finals.

    In the women's shot put, Rickael Roach finished fourth and DeAnna Price took sixth to score SIU some team points while Eric Reeves finished fifth in the men's long jump and Maxim Bakana came in seventh.

    On the track, Brad Wrage just missed All-MVC honors with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase while Sadie Darnell finished fifth in the women's steeplechase.

    Highlighting the preliminary action for the Salukis Sunday, junior Zach Dahleen ran the top qualifying time in the men's 800-meter run while freshman Amiris Warren ran the second-fastest women's 100-meter time.

    Other Salukis who qualified for Sunday's championships on the women's side were Malaikah Love in the 100-meter hurdles, Mobola Rotibi in the 800-meter run and Tess Shubert in the 400-meter hurdles. On the men's side, Eric Reeves and Matthew Benes qualified in the 100-meter dash, Stephen Arvanis qualified in the 800-meter run and Dominic Williams and Ryan Sidwell qualified in the 200-meter dash.

    After nine events, the SIU women sit in second place with 78.5 points behind host Wichita State with 91.5 points. After eight complete events, the SIU men sit in fourth with 47.5 points while the Shockers lead with 73 points.

    Live coverage of Sunday's final round is available HERE.