Track starts season strong at Saluki Fast Start

    Brandon Deloney

    Brandon Deloney

    Dec. 3, 2010

    Final Stats

    By Michael Benson
    SIUSalukis.com

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois track and field teams garnered four first place finishes and one automatic mark Friday in the SIU Rec Center for the Saluki Fast Start.

    For head coach Connie Price-Smith, it was an encouraging showing for the squad against top-notch programs from Louisville, South Florida, and Lincoln (Mo.), while also giving the team a chance to improve before the bulk of the indoor season begins.

    "It was a good first day," Price-Smith said. "It shows us what we need to work on and the things we need to focus on executing. Overall, I'm very pleased with the way it went."

    The night was highlighted by Jeneva McCall's automatic NCAA National qualifying mark in the weight throw, as the junior reached a mark of 72-01.00 - good for a second place finish behind two-time defending weight throw champion D'Ana McCarty of Louisville.

    Additionally, freshman Erin Atkinson made an impressive debut with the Dawgs, finishing in third place in the weight throw at a distance of 64-08.00.

    In other field events, Malaikah Love captured two of the team's 36 top five finishes in the long jump (third) and triple jump (fourth).

    Kandise Thompson and Meredith Hayes both notched first place finished on the track for the women's team. Thompson breezed past the competition in the 400 meter dash, winning with a time of 56.57. Meanwhile, Hayes - the defending MVC 60 meter hurdle champion - won that same event with a time of 8.70.

    For the men, freshman Matthew Benes made quite an impact in his first collegiate meet, winning the 60 meter hurdles in 8.24. Meanwhile, Brandon Deloney took second place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.03.

     

     

    In the triple jump, Maxim Bakana took home first place with a mark of 48-07.50, while Vincent Johnson (third), Kendrick Branch (fourth), and Douglas Palacious (fifth) all rounded out the top five.

    "We had a lot of good things that happened," Price-Smith said. "A lot of personal bests that came out of here and that's always great to see for the first meet. I think we're on the right track."

    The Salukis will return to action on Jan. 14-15 when they host the Saluki Open inside the SIU Rec Center.

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