Dec. 3, 2011
By Robin Thuringer
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois track and field team won 11 events and recorded two NCAA qualifying marks at the first meet of the indoor season, the Saluki Fast Start, Saturday at the SIU Recreational Center.
Head Coach Connie Price-Smith said she was pleased with the team's performance this early in the season.
"We had a lot of great performances and a lot of young athletes did a lot of good things and many of the upperclassman stepped up," Price-Smith said. " There are areas that we need to get better in but I saw a lot of good things coming out of this meet."
Senior Jeneva McCall turned out a stellar performance as she recorded two personal bests with NCAA automatic qualifying marks in the weight throw and shot put. McCall won the shot put and broke her own school record with mark of 57-00.25. Her winning mark of 75-06.25 in the weight throw was also a personal best and currently ranks her number one in the nation.
Saluki throwers had a stand out day, as they collectively won the men's and women's shot put and the women's weight throw.
In the women's shot put, SIU notched high marks placing competitors in the first seven positions. Kim Fortney finished behind McCall in second place with a mark of 48-05.50. The women also dominated in the weight throw nabbing places one through five. Rickael Roach placed second with an impressive mark of 65-10.50.
Sophomore Kenya Culmer won the women's high jump with a personal best indoor mark of 5-08.50, which ties her for third in SIU history.
The Salukis also saw success in the running events. Tess Shubert recorded a second place finish in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:36.56. Freshman duo Allison Gallo and Mobola Rotibi took the top spots in the women's one mile. Gallo finished first with a time of 5:12.91, Rotibi followed in at 5:29.39.
"This is a big mental boost for the freshman because many of them had great performances, now they know they can compete at the collegiate level and against athletes at this level."
Freshman Eric Reeves beat out 40 competitors to win the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.86 that ranks third in SIU history. Reeves also placed second in the 200-meter dash behind teammate Brandon Deloney, who won in a time of 21.75. Deloney helped narrow the gap to push the men's 4x400 relay team into a second place finish. Qunicy Shelton anchored the relay with Blake Green and Dominic Williams following.
The men also captured the one-mile title with senior Stephan Arvanis placing first, recording a time of 4:15.80. Cody Doerfleinrounded out the event wins with his first place finish in the men's pole vault with a clearing mark of 16-08.00 (5.08m).
"When you can get an automatic qualifier out of the meet that is great," Price-Smith said. "We had a lot of good performances, overall I am happy."
SIU will continue their indoor season when they host the Saluki Open on Jan. 13 and 14.