Freshman Katie Trupp earned All-MVC in the pole vault in second place. (Photo Credit by Jennifer Gonzalez)
May 16, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field left the first day of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships with four All-MVC honors and two runners-up at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex on Friday.
Wichita State, who was favored to win the men's title, currently leads in both the men's and women's competition after seven total events scored on Day One between both genders. The Saluki men rank sixth after getting six points on Day One -- all from junior Curtis Wideman. But, the Saluki women have gotten off to a hot start with three all-conference finishes and two runners-up to put them in second place behind Wichita State after four events on Friday.
Southern's most impressive performances of the day came at the tail end of competition on Friday. Freshman Katie Trupp, who held the eighth-best pole vault clearance outdoors in the Valley in 2014 entering the meet, outlasted six other competitors who had higher seed marks than her. A native of Elgin, Ill., Trupp provided some upset drama to the women's pole vault with her second-place finish -- her first all-conference honor at SIU.
Trupp cleared an overall personal-best of 3.94m (12-11.00) to tie with champion Libby Torresani of Northern Iowa, who was awarded the title after a tiebreak was assessed. Her newest PR is only one half-inch away from the all-time SIU record of 3.94m (12-11.50). Both Trupp and Torresani both took attempts with the bar at 4.04m (13-03.00), and Trupp narrowly missed sealing the school record and conference title on her last attempt. The Saluki freshman now owns the highest conference finish in the women's pole vault at SIU in three years (Miracle Thompson, 2011, second place), which is also the last time an SIU female had earned All-MVC in the event.
Currently, Trupp ranks 46th in the NCAA West Region -- which, would qualify her for the regional meet if the national performance list does not change more than two spots.
Junior Caselyn Harding also played her part in the pole vault, scoring in eighth place at 3.44m (11-03.50).
The Saluki women also gained an outstanding career performance in the final event of the night: the women's 10,000 meter run. In the 10K, junior Tori Parry flew past her previous personal best by nearly a minute -- which broke the school record in the process. Parry, a native of Jackson, Mo., earned her first career All-MVC distinction with her third-place finish at 35:32.29 -- which breaks the school record of 35:34.20 set in 1982 by Patty Houseworth. Over the course of all 10,000 meters, Parry kept a consistent pace, never straying more than four seconds on her splits from 1:23 to 1:27.
Fellow Saluki Lacey Gibson helped Southern's cause in the 10K as well with her eighth-place finish at 36:12.20.
However, Southern started the day with the hammer throw, where SIU came away with two all-conference honors. Junior Ashley Gaston earned her first career All-MVC distinction after finishing in second place at a personal-best throw of 57.06m (187-02) -- two feet behind Illinois State champion, Jianna Williams (57.74m/189-05). Gaston hit her PR and held the top distance on the day after her second throw until Williams hit her winning distance on her third. Currently, Gaston's newest best in the hammer ranks her 48th in the NCAA West Region -- the final qualifying spot for the regional meet as of Friday night.
Junior Curtis Wideman claimed Southern's only meet points on the men's side on Day One with his All-MVC performance in the hammer. Wideman, who ranks 13th in the nation 63.86m (209-06), finished third overall at 62.35m (204-07). Wideman made a considerable jump up the standings to claim the final All-MVC spot, however, as he hit his top distance on his final throw.
SIU also qualified two student-athlete for the 1500 meter finals on Sunday: seniors Alyssa Allison and Zach Dahleen. Allison -- who owns the third-best 1500 time in Saluki history (4:27.83) -- had the eighth-best time in qualifying at 4:35.64. Dahleen -- who is the SIU school record holder in the event at 3:41.18 -- clocked in with the third-fastest qualifying time of 3:52.53.
The Saluki men also had one competitor in the men's decathlon on Friday, which got through five events on Day One. Junior Dean Jordan currently sits in second place through five scored events at 3,452 points. Jordan, a native of Bloomington, Ill., helped his cause greatly with two third-place finishes in two decathlon events on Friday in the long jump (6.80m/22-03.75) and the high jump (1.84m/6-00.50).
Southern also narrowly missed yet another scorer on the women's side. Freshman javelin thrower Stephanie Milroy -- in her first collegiate conference meet -- finished ninth in the event at a personal-best distance of 36.42m (119-06), just one inch short of tying for the final scoring spot in eighth place.
Day Two will begin with the resumption of the multi events, first with the long jump in the women's heptathlon at 10:30 a.m. Live results are available at Endurance Race Timing, and Saluki Video Services will provide a YouTube live stream beginning at 3 p.m. with the men's shot put and high jump.
Men's Team Scores (Through three scored events):
1. Wichita State - 36
2. Indiana State - 23
3. Illinois State - 22
4. Drake - 16
5. Northern Iowa - 11
6. Southern Illinois - 6
7. Bradley - 3
Women's Team Scores (Through four scored events):
1. Wichita State - 46.50
2. Southern Illinois - 31
3. Northern Iowa - 19
3. Illinois State - 19
5. Indiana State - 15.50
6. Bradley - 15
7. Loyola - 10
Day One All-MVC (Men)
Curtis Wideman - Hammer Throw, third place
Other Notable Performances
9. Stephanie Milroy - 36.42m (119-06), PR, fell one inch short of scoring