Salukis dominate at Saluki Fast Start to open indoor season

    Junior DeAnna Price won both the weight throw and shot put with personal bests.

    Junior DeAnna Price won both the weight throw and shot put with personal bests.

    Dec. 7, 2013


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    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field started the 2013-14 indoor season off on the right foot at the Saluki Fast Start on Saturday at the SIU Recreation Center, where the Salukis took home 10 event titles and notched the highest collegiate finisher in three additional events.

    Nine different Salukis won events, including two by freshman and two alone by returning All-American thrower DeAnna Price.

    A junior native of Moscow Mills, Mo., Price led a stacked SIU women's throws squad in both the weight throw and shot put. Price took home the weight throw title with a personal best mark of 20.60m (67-07.00) -- which is nearly a foot better than her previous PR. Price also posted a monster PR in the shot put at 15.84m (51-11.75), nearly three feet better than her previous best.

    The Saluki women were a force in the weight throw with four in the top six. Junior Sophia Lozano (second place, 19.12m/62-08.75), junior Ashley Gaston (fifth place, 18.07m/59-03.50, PR) and sophomore Alexus Scott (6th, 18.00m/59-00.75, PR) all contributed to the effort in the weight throw. In the shot put, Gaston (second place, 15.81m/61-10.50, PR) and Scott (third place, 14.66m/48-01.25) followed right behind Price.

    The Saluki male throwers also had an impressive showing in the weight throw and shot put. In the weight, Curtis Wideman came close to his PR with a launch of 18.74m (61-05.75), which was good for second place behind unattached former Saluki, J.C. Lambert (21.37m/70-01.50). Wideman also posted an impressive personal best in the shot put at 17.84m (58-06.50), which bested his old mark by nearly three feet.

    Like Wideman, Junior Pan-Am shot put gold medalist and sophomore Josh Freeman (second place, 17.91m/58-09.25) also placed as the highest collegiate finisher behind the unattached Josh Uchtman (18.67m/61-03.00) in the shot put.

    Southern had similar success in the pole vault, where it was a Saluki sweep. Alex Lietz came close to a personal best with his winning clearance of 4.60m (15-01.00) in the men's pole vault. Impressively, freshman Chad Weaver finished second and cleared the same height as Lietz, but missed on his first attempt after Lietz had successfully cleared.

    Freshman Katie Trupp came out swinging in her first collegiate meet with a victory in the women's pole vault with a clearance of 3.65m (11-11.75) -- which already ranks as the second-best indoor women's pole vault mark in school history. Trupp also had a successful day in the high jump, where she finished third with at 1.65m (5-05.00).

    The Salukis swept the high jump as well with winning performances from sophomore Kemar Jones and senior Kenya Culmer. Jones posted a 1.99m (6-06.25 PR) mark en route to victory, and Culmer -- SIU's record holder in both the indoor (5-10.00) and outdoor (5-11.25) high jumps -- won with a clearance of 1.75m (5-08.75).

    Southern's remaining four titles came on the track, where SIU had an impressive start to the season.

    Junior Lauren Cheadle had a strong day at the Fast Start with a victory in the 60 meter dash (7.67 seconds, PR) and her second-place finish in the long jump (5.75m/18-10.50), the latter of which constituted as the highest collegiate finish in the event. Joining Cheadle in the 60 meter dash finals were Desiree White (third place, 7.75, PR) and Nirupama Sunderraj (fifth place, 7.84).

    Senior Matthew Benes began his final Saluki campaign on the right foot with a victory in the 60 meter hurdles (8.29 seconds) and an appearance in the finals of the 60 meter dash (fourth place, 6.96).

    The Salukis nearly came away with two more victories in the men's and women's 200 meter dashes. On the women's side, SIU's Sunderraj fell less than one-hundredth of a second shy of claiming victory with an official time of 25.4699, compared to Southeast Missouri's Prenecia Ponds at 25.4665. Right behind Sunderraj was Cheadle in third place at 25.52.

    On the men's side, the Salukis took second through fourth place. Dominic Williams finished second at 22.79, six hundredths of a second off the victor. Behind him were freshmen Andrew Sledd (third, 22.92) and William Davis (23.21).

    Southern's distance and middle-distance runners took the final two victories. Senior Alyssa Allison won the mile run with a time of 5:07.60, and freshman Jessica Jump won the 600 meter race in her first competition at the collegiate level, clocking in at 1:39.66.

    Saluki track and field will return in 2014 with the Saluki Open on Jan. 10-11.

    Other Notable Finishes (Women):
    Triple Jump:
    Kenya Culmer - Third place - 12.02m (39-05.25)
    Sarah Rautio - Fourth place - 11.73m (38-06.00)

    60m Hurdles
    Shaneice Bufford - Third place - 9.13
    McKenzie White - Fifth place - 9.24

    Melissa McDonald - Fourth place - 5:25.56 - PR

    800m Run
    Meg Fitzgerald - Second place - 2:25.70

    4x400m Relay
    McKenzie White, Tyra Wooten, Jessica Jump, Nirupama Sunderraj - Second place - 3:56.60

    Other Notable Finishes (Men):
    Weight Throw
    Kyle Walker - Fourth place - 16.51m (54-02.00) - PR
    Brian Cooper - Fifth place - 16.41m (53-10.25)

    Triple Jump
    Luke James - Second place - 14.28m (46-10.25)

    Shot Put
    Jeff Stewart - Fifth place - 16.13m (52-11.00)

    60m Dash
    Andrew Sledd - Fifth place - 7.02

    Kulayifi Haji - Second place - 4:22.79

    4x400m Relays
    Dominic Williams, Spencer Jackson, Tommy Moore, Andrew Carmin - Second place - 3:29.78