Saluki men finish third, women fourth at conclusion of MVC Outdoor Championships

    Freshman Nikolai Gall won the 400m dash, his first career MVC title.

    Freshman Nikolai Gall won the 400m dash, his first career MVC title.

    May 12, 2013


    Championship Central

    By Tyler Wooten

    DES MOINES, Iowa -- Saluki track and field hauled in two MVC titles and landed 11 All-MVC performers at the conclusion of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships on Sunday, where the Saluki men finished third and the women finished fourth.

    The first of two Saluki titles at Day Three came from freshman Nikolai Gall in the 400 meter dash. Gall won with a blistering time of 47.59 seconds for his first career individual title and All-MVC honor. That time is still four hundredths of a second off the MVC's top time in 2013 and his personal best of 47.55, set yesterday in the prelims.

    Southern's final title came courtesy of veteran Dougie Palacious, who successfully defended his title and claimed his third straight and third career MVC triple jump crown (two outdoor, one indoor). Palacious won with a total leap of 15.45m (50-08.25), over two feet better than second place. Palacious is the first Saluki male to repeat in the outdoor triple jump since Leonard Vance won three straight from 1988-90. Other scorers in the event included Dean Jordan (seventh, 13.61m/44-08.00) and Eric Reeves (eighth, 13.59m/44-07.00).

    Sophomore Amiris Warren had a career day on the track in two individual events. First, Warren was named to her first career All-MVC in the 100 meter dash, where she finished second with a wind-aided time of 11.51 seconds -- which, would have been the best time in Saluki history by nearly a full tenth if not for the wind. Warren was able to stick in the records book in the 200 meter dash finals, though, where her fourth-place time of 23.84 was not aided by the wind and pushed her to second all-time at SIU.



    Warren also ran anchor as part of the All-MVC 4x100 meter relay squad along with Lauren Cheadle, Tess Shubert and Desiree White. The group finished third with a scorching time of 45.91 seconds, a season-best and the second-best time in Saluki history.

    Sophomore Sadie Darnell earned her first career All-MVC distinction and the 2013 women's MVC Elite 18 award for her performance in the 5000 meter run and her work in the classroom where she holds a 4.0 GPA majoring in elementary education. Darnell ran a personal best time of 16:57.72 for third place, which ranks as the fourth-best 5K time in Saluki history. Other scorers in the 5000 meter run were Lacey Gibson (seventh, 17:30.49) and Kelley Gallagher (eighth, 17:32.81 PR).

    Southern claimed two All-MVC performers in the men's discus throw, where Salukis occupied places two-through-six. Sophomore Curtis Wideman earned his first career All-MVC distinction with a second place finish at 51.95m (170-05), and not far behind him was freshman TJ Beelen, who finished third at 51.22m (168-00) -- his first All-MVC honor as well. Also scoring for the men were Josh Freeman (fourth, 48.97m/160-08), Bradley Sauer (fifth, 48.78m/160-00) and J.C. Lambert (sixth, 48.36m/158-08).

    Saluki women also had a strong showing in the discus, scoring three athletes in the top-eight. Ashley Gaston (fourth, 50.14m/164-06), Sophia Lozano (sixth, 45.47m/149-02 PR) and Kim Fortney (eighth, 43.36m/142-03) all scored for SIU. Throughout the throwing events at the championships, Saluki men scored 71 of 161 total meet points, and the women scooped up 49 of 119.

    SIU's final All-MVC representative was Kenya Culmer in the triple jump, who earned her fifth career All-MVC honor and second outdoors in 2013 with a third place finish. Culmer's best total leap totaled at 12.53m (41-01.50).

    The Salukis also grabbed points in six sprinting events that had finals on Sunday.

    Junior Matthew Benes ran in the 100 meter dash (fifth, 10.76), 200 meter dash (sixth, 22.30) and 110 meter hurdles (fourth, 14.30) for a total of 12 points.

    Senior Tess Shubert narrowly missed out on All-MVC in the 400 meter hurdles. Shubert ran 59.88 seconds for fourth place in the event, a little over two tenths shy of third place.

    Other Salukis running in sprinting finals were: Remy Abrought (100 meter hurdles, sixth, 14.11), Kemar Jones (110 meter hurdles, seventh, 14.45 PR) and Brett Kohler (400 meter hurdles, sixth, 53.71).

    SIU also claimed meet points two relays and three distance events. The women's 4x400 meter relay of Shubert, Abrought, Mobola Rotibi and Warren finished seventh at 3:39.74; and the men's 4x400 meter relay of Gall, Ryan Sidwell, Blake Green and Christopher Nightengale finished fifth with a time of 3:13.44. Distance scorers included Brian Dixon (5000m, fourth, 14:43.43 PR), Juan Carrera (5000m, fifth, 14:44.62 PR), Oscar Medina (1500m, fifth, 3:53.95) and Kelley Gallagher (1500m, eighth, 4:35.80 PR).

    Overall, Southern won four individual event titles and earned 21 All-MVC distinctions at the championships. Freshmen won two of SIU's four titles (Gall and Freeman), over half of Saluki All-MVC performers came on Day Three, and three female Salukis earned All-MVC in multiple events (Culmer, Fortney and Warren).

    Early next week the qualifiers for the NCAA First Round West Regional Qualifiers held in Austin, Texas from May 23-25.

    MVC Titles:
    Day One
    J.C. Lambert - Hammer Throw
    Day Two
    Josh Freeman - Shot Put
    Day Three
    Nikolai Gall - 400 meter dash
    Dougie Palacious - Triple Jump

    Day One
    Brian Dixon - 10,000 meter run
    Kim Fortney - Hammer Throw
    J.C. Lambert - Hammer Throw
    DeAnna Price - Hammer Throw
    Bradley Sauer - Hammer Throw
    Day Two
    Kenya Culmer - High Jump
    Josh Freeman - Shot Put
    Kim Fortney - Shot Put
    Eric Reeves - Long Jump
    Greg Semanisin - Shot Put
    Day Three
    TJ Beelen - Discus
    Kenya Culmer - Triple Jump
    Sadie Darnell - 5000 meter run
    Nikolai Gall - 400 meter dash
    Dougie Palacious - Triple Jump
    Amiris Warren - 100 meter dash
    Curtis Wideman - Discus
    Women's 4x100 meter relay - Lauren Cheadle, Tess Shubert, Desiree White, Amiris Warren

    Sadie Darnell - Women's Elite 18 - Third in 5000 meter run, 4.0 in Elementary Education)

    Men's Final Team Scores:
    1. Indiana State - 198.50
    2. Wichita State - 168.50
    3. Southern Illinois - 161
    4. Northern Iowa - 113
    5. Drake - 85
    6. Illinois State - 71
    7. Bradley - 11

    Women's Final Team Scores:
    1. Indiana State - 166.50
    2. No. 25 Wichita State - 165
    3. Illinois State - 136
    4. Southern Illinois - 119
    5. Missouri State - 91
    6. Northern Iowa - 76.50
    7. Drake - 41
    8. Bradley - 23