Two Salukis advance to finals on first day of NCAA West Regional

    Junior Kim Fortney advances to her first NCAA Final in the shot put.

    Junior Kim Fortney advances to her first NCAA Final in the shot put.

    May 24, 2012

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two members of the Southern Illinois track and field team secured their places in the NCAA Finals during the first day of the NCAA West Regional Thursday in Austin, Texas.

    Jeneva McCall and Kim Fortney finished third and 10th respectively in the women's shot put at the University of Texas's Mike A. Myers Stadium. The top 12 finishers from each event at the West Regional advance to the NCAA Finals June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

    McCall posted a throw of 58-01.00 to punch her ticket to Drake while Fortney posted a career-best throw of 53-00.75 to advance to the first NCAA Final of her career. Freshman Ashley Gaston also competed in the shot put, finishing 42nd with a throw of 46-00.00.

    Also in Thursday's action, Tess Shubert, Amiris Warren and Zach Dahleen each advanced out of their preliminary heats and into their respective quarterfinals.

    Shubert finished 21st in the preliminaries of the women's 400-meter hurdles in a time of 59.57 while Warren tied a personal-best at 11.63 in the women's 100-meter prelims to take 27th. Both will run in their quarterfinals Friday, looking for one of the top 12 spots that will advance to the NCAA Finals.

    Dahleen finished seventh in the men's 1,500-meter run preliminaries in 3:51.30 to advance to the Saturday quarterfinal.

    Rounding out the day for the Salukis, senior Neal Anderson competed in the men's 10k run, finishing 35th in a time of 31:38.29.

    Southern will continue in the West Regional Friday as McCall and Gaston will compete in the women's discus at 11 a.m., Bradley Sauer and Collin Otto will compete in the men's hammer throw at 2 p.m., Kenya Culmer will compete in the women's high jump at 5 p.m., Douglas Palacious and Maxim Bakana will compete in the men's triple jump at 6 p.m., Warren will run in the women's 100-meter quarterfinals at 6:45 p.m. and Shubert will run in the women's 400-meter hurdles quarterfinals at 7:45 p.m.

    Live Stats for the NCAA West Regional are available HERE while a free live video stream is available HERE.