Senior Malaikah Love broke the SIU triple jump record on the final day of the MVC Outdoor Championships
May 13, 2012
By Bill Ford
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois track and field teams picked up five more individual titles and seven All-Conference honors on the final day of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships Sunday in Wichita, Kan.
The SIU women's team finished third in the team standings with 135.5 points while the Saluki men finished fourth with 127.5 points. Wichita State won the women's title with 192.5 points while Indiana State won the men's crown with 187.5 points.
"We finished right about where we picked," said SIU head coach Connie Price-Smith. "We came out and competed really hard. There were a few places we maybe could have picked up a few more points here and there, but overall I was happy with how we competed."
Senior Jeneva McCall closed out her final MVC meet by earning Most Valuable Athlete honors for scoring the most points on the women's side in addition to being named Most Outstanding Field Athlete for the third consecutive season.
McCall won the MVC discus title Sunday, the third of her career, with a throw of 183-08. The heave helped her sweep the three throws events for the Championship for the second time in her career. McCall will exit SIU having won nine MVC outdoor titles and six indoor titles for an impressive haul of 15 conference titles for her career.
"It's a great thing for her to finish the way that she did," Price-Smith said of McCall. "It was a tough weekend having to compete all three days. It was really great to see her go out as the MVP."
Senior Malaikah Love repeated as the MVC champion in the triple jump with an SIU record jump of 43-03.25. Love now holds the distinction of being the only Saluki to ever clear 43 feet in the event. She ends her SIU career having won four outdoor titles to go along with five indoor titles.
Also for the SIU men, sophomore Doug Palacious won the triple jump title with a career-best mark of 51-09.00, a mark that ranks fifth in SIU history. Palacious became the first Saluki to win an MVC title in the event since Jaanus Uudmae 2002.
On the track, junior Zach Dahleen won the 1,500-meter run in a time of 3:49.46 for his second career title in the event.
Saluki senior Neal Anderson fell just short of a conference title in the men's 5k, taking second in a time of 14:39.60 to earn All-MVC honors in the event. Freshman Mobola Rotibi also earned All-MVC honors with her third-place finish in the women's 800-meter run in a time of 2:11.00.
Several SIU athletes barely missed All-Conference honors by finishing in fourth place in their respective events. They were: Kenya Culmer in the women's triple jump, Maxim Bakana in the men's triple jump, Amiris Warren in the women's 100-meter dash, Dahleen in the men's 800-meter run, Tess Shubert in the women's 400-meter hurdles, the women's 4x100-meter relay and the men's 4x400-meter relay.
Other close calls for Southern were Vincent Johnson with a fifth-place finish in the triple jump, Curtis Wideman with a fifth-place finish in the men's discus, Love with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, Eric Reeves with a sixth-place finish in the men's 100-meter dash and Dominic Williams with a sixth-place finish in the men's 200-meter dash.
"I think our freshman had a very good meet," Price-Smith said. "We are a very young team and we came in and did well. I am really encouraged with what I saw out of our young athletes in this meet."
Southern's season will continue as 13 Salukis will advance to the NCAA West Regional May 24-26 in Austin, Texas. For the SIU women's team, Jeneva McCall will compete in the hammer throw, shot put and discus, Malaikah Love will compete in the long jump and triple jump, Kim Fortney and DeAnna Price will compete in the hammer throw, Ashley Gaston will compete in the discus and shot put, Kenya Culmer will compete in the high jump and triple jump and Tess Shubert will compete in the 400-meter hurdles. On the men's side, Cody Doerflein will compete in the pole vault, Zach Dahleen will compete in the 1,500-meter run, Doug Palacious and Maxim Bakana will compete in the triple jump and Bradley Sauer and Collin Otto will compete in the hammer throw.
MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship Results
1. Wichita State, 192.5
2. Illinois State, 150
3. Southern Illinois, 135.5
4. Indiana State, 113
5. Missouri State, 98
6. Northern Iowa, 65.5
7. Drake, 43.50
8. Bradley, 19
1. Indiana State, 187.5
2. Wichita State, 175
3. Northern Iowa, 158
4. Southern Illinois, 127.5
5. Illinois State, 90
6. Drake, 69
7. Bradley, 8
MVC Outdoor Track and Field Specialty Award Winners
Women's Track & Field Elite 18 Award: Audacia Moore, Wichita State (3.944 GPA in Nursing)
Men's Track & Field Elite 18 Award: Jarred Herring, Northern Iowa (3.63 GPA in Psychology)
Women's Most Valuable Athlete of the Meet (most points): Jeneva McCall, Southern Illinois
Men's Most Valuable Athlete of the Meet (most points): Tie- Curt Jensen, Illinois State and Dylan Hartnett, Wichita State
Most Outstanding Female Track Athlete: Natalie Morerod, Wichita State
Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete: Greggmar Swift, Indiana State
Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete: Jeneva McCall, Southern Illinois
Most Outstanding Male Field Athlete: Tim Glover, Illinois State
Outdoor Women's Coach of the Year: Steve Rainbolt, Wichita State
Outdoor Men's Coach of the Year: John McNichols, Indiana State.