Saluki women picked second, men fourth in MVC Indoor Pre-Championship Poll

    Junior Lauren Cheadle currently holds the top long jump mark in the Valley.

    Junior Lauren Cheadle currently holds the top long jump mark in the Valley.

    Feb. 27, 2014

    MVC Indoor Championships
     Dates Mar. 1-2
     Location Cedar Falls, Iowa -- UNI-Dome
     Meet Info Meet Schedule | Heat Sheets
     Champ. Info Championship Central | Pre-Championship Poll
     Video Live Stream - Day Two Only (UNI Subscription needed)
     Stats

    Men's Performance List | Women's Performance List

     Rankings Men's National | Women's National | Missouri Valley
     Records SIU Record Book
     Media Guide Media Guide
     Social Media @SIU_TrackXC  | Facebook  | Missouri Valley 

    By Tyler Wooten
    SIUSalukis.com

    ST. LOUIS --
    The Saluki women and men's track and field teams were picked to finish in second and fourth place, respectively, at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships this weekend, the conference announced Thursday in its pre-championship poll.

    Indiana State was tabbed to win both the men's and women's indoor championships. For the men, who are led by national-caliber sprinter Greggmar Swift, it would be their third title in four years. Conversely, a victory for the Sycamore women would be their first in 13 years since they won last in 2001.

    The Saluki women -- picked to finish second while receiving two first-place votes -- have one of its deeper squads in recent years with top conference marks in the throws, jumps and distance events. But, as with years past, Southern's strength will come in the field events -- particularly the throws. SIU has the potential to do some significant damage in the team scores on the women's side in the weight throw and shot put, where the Salukis currently hold seven top-eight marks in the MVC out of 16 total scoring spots in those two events.

    Junior Sophia Lozano holds the top weight throw mark in the conference at 20.82m (68-03.75), which also ranks as the fifth-best in SIU history and the 14th-best on the national collegiate list in 2014. Lozano is followed by fellow juniors DeAnna Price (second, 20.75m/68-01.00) and Ashley Gaston (fourth, 19.38m/63-07.00) in the top-five, who are each ranked in the top-50 nationally as well.

    Senior Kenya Culmer, SIU's all-time leader in both the indoor and outdoor high jump, looks to cap off her indoor career with her first MVC indoor championship in the high jump. Culmer won the outdoor title in 2012, but hasn't finished higher than second since. Each year at SIU, Culmer has been a critical contributor for the Saluki women as she has scored at each conference meet during her time at Southern. She currently holds the top mark in the MVC in 2014 with a clearance of 1.79m (5-10.50).

    Southern should also be well represented in the horizontal jumps. Junior Lauren Cheadle holds the MVC's top mark in 2014 at 5.86m (19-02.75) and four more Saluki women rank in the top-eight in the triple jump: Culmer (third, 12.27m/40-03.25), Cetrena Simmons (fifth, 11.92m/39-01.25), Sarah Rautio (sixth, 11.73m/38-06.00) and Alauna Ray (eighth, 11.59m/38-00.25).

    On the track, members from the 2013 MVC Cross Country Champion Saluki women's team will look to give Southern the edge for the title. SIU currently holds the top mark in the 800 meter run (Mobola Rotibi, 2:09.79, converted) and the second-best time in the 3000 meter run (Krista Menghini, 9:43.41), but has depth with five more MVC top-eight marks in 2014.

    The Saluki men -- picked to finish fourth while receiving one first-place vote -- will similarly be successful in the field. The SIU men currently hold only one top-MVC mark -- Kyle Landon's 2.17m (7-01.50) clearance in the high jump that also ranks fifth all-time at SIU and 24th nationally.

    Sophomore Josh Freeman, the 2013 MVC outdoor shot put champion, will look to break his own SIU record once again and best Illinois State fifth-year senior Curtis Jensen for the indoor title. Freeman currently ranks second in the MVC and 12th in the nation in the shot put at 19.43m (63-09.00).

    Junior Curtis Wideman will also look to finish ahead of a Redbird as he will look to take down Illinois State's Akil Mills in the weight throw. Wideman currently ranks second in the conference behind Mills and 17th nationally in the weight throw at 20.72m (67-11.75), which is just on the cusp of qualifying for the national meet (top-16).

    The Saluki men should also have a strong showing in the horizontal jumps, where SIU has three top-five marks. Junior transfer Luke James ranks second in the conference in the triple jump at 14.47m (47-05.75), and he is followed by freshman Franklin Adams, who ranks third at 14.27m (46-10.00). Adams also sits at fifth in the Valley in the long jump at 7.19m (23-07.25).

    On the track, Southern will be led by hurdlers Matthew Benes and Kemar Jones, and distance runner Oscar Medina. Benes ranks sixth in the MVC in three different events -- the 60 meter dash (6.90 seconds), 60 meter hurdles (8.03) and 200 meter dash (21.97) -- each of which rank on SIU's all-time top-10 list. Medina has led the Saluki men's distance runners in 2014, as he is currently ranks seventh in the conference in the mile at 4:10.95 (converted).

    Day One on Saturday morning will begin with the multi events at 9:30 a.m. CST.

    Men's MVC Pre-Championship Poll:
    1. Indiana State (5) - 46
    2. Wichita State (1) - 42
    3. Loyola - 33
    4. Southern Illinois (1) - 27
    5. Illinois State - 24
    6. UNI - 16
    7. Drake - 8

    Women's MVC Pre-Championship Poll:
    1. Indiana State (4) - 75
    2. Southern Illinois (2) - 71
    3. Wichita State (3) - 65
    4. Illinois State - 48
    5. Loyola - 46
    6. UNI - 38
    7. Missouri State - 31
    8. Drake - 16
    9. Bradley - 15

    Men's National Rankings (Top-50)
    12. Josh Freeman - Shot Put - 19.43m (63-09.00)
    17. Curtis Wideman - Weight Throw - 20.72m (67-11.75)
    24. Kyle Landon - High Jump - 2.17m (7-01.50)

    Men's MVC Rankings (Top-Eight):
    1. Kyle Landon - High Jump - 2.17m (7-01.50)
    2. Josh Freeman - Shot Put - 19.43m (63-09.00)
    2. Luke James - Triple Jump - 14.47m (47-05.75)
    2. Curtis Wideman - Weight Throw - 20.72m (67-11.75)
    3. Franklin Adams - Triple Jump - 14.27m (46-10.00)
    5. Franklin Adams - Long Jump - 7.19m (23-07.25)
    5. Kemar Jones - High Jump - 2.06m (6-09.00)
    5. Curtis Wideman - Shot Put - 17.84m (58-06.50)
    6. Matt Benes - 60 meter dash - 6.90
    6. Matt Benes - 60 meter hurdles - 8.03
    6. Matt Benes - 200 meter dash - 21.97
    7. Kemar Jones - 60 meter hurdles - 8.04
    7. Oscar Medina - Mile - 4:10.95 (converted)
    7. 4x400 meter relay - 3:19.89
    8. Alex Lietz - Pole Vault - 4.85m (15-11.00)
    8. Jeff Stewart - Shot Put - 16.52m (54-02.50)

    Women's National Rankings (Top-50):
    14. Sophia Lozano - Weight Throw - 20.82m (68-03.75)
    16. DeAnna Price - Weight Throw - 20.75m (68-01.00)
    19. DeAnna Price - Shot Put - 16.29m (53-05.50)
    26. Kenya Culmer - High Jump - 1.79m (5-10.50)
    30. Ashley Gaston - Shot Put - 15.94m (52-03.75)
    44. Alexus Scott - Shot Put - 15.62m (51-03.00)
    49. Ashley Gaston - Weight Throw - 19.38m (63-07.00)

    Women's MVC Rankings (Top-Eight):
    1. Lauren Cheadle - Long Jump - 5.86m (19-02.75)
    1. Kenya Culmer - High Jump - 1.79m (5-10.50)
    1. Sophia Lozano - Weight Throw - 20.82m (68-03.75)
    1. Mobola Rotibi - 800 meter run - 2:09.79 (converted)
    2. Krista Menghini - 3000 meter run - 9:43.41
    2. DeAnna Price - Shot Put - 16.29m (53-05.50)
    2. DeAnna Price - Weight Throw - 20.75m (68-01.00)
    3. Kenya Culmer - Triple Jump - 12.27m (40-03.25)
    3. Ashley Gaston - Shot Put - 15.94m (52-03.75)
    4. Sadie Darnell - 3000 meter run - 9:44.82
    4. Ashley Gaston - Weight Throw - 19.38m (63-07.00)
    4. Katie Trupp - Pole Vault - 3.87m (12-08.25)
    4. Alexus Scott - Shot Put - 15.62m (51-03.00)
    4. Distance Medley Relay - 11:48.26
    5. Krista Menghini - Mile - 4:54.36 (converted)
    5. Cetrena Simmons - Triple Jump - 11.92m (39-01.25)
    6. Alyssa Allison - 800 meter run - 2:11.64
    6. Lauren Cheadle - 60 meter dash - 7.63
    6. Sarah Rautio - Triple Jump - 11.73m (38-06.00)
    6. Cetrena Simmons - High Jump - 1.68m (5-06.00)
    7. 4x400 meter relay - 3:50.33
    8. Lacey Gibson - 5000 meter run - 17:36.16
    8. Alauna Ray - Triple Jump - 11.59m (38-00.25)
    8. Alexus Scott - Weight Throw - 18.54m (60-10.00)

    Returning All-MVC

    2013 Indoor:
    Alyssa Allison (3rd, distance medley relay)
    Kenya Culmer (2nd, high jump; 3rd, triple jump)
    Josh Freeman (2nd, shot put)
    Allison Gallo (3rd, distance medley relay)
    Kelley Gallagher (3rd, distance medley relay)
    Blake Green (3rd, 4x400 meter relay)
    McKenzie White (3rd, distance medley relay)

    2013 Outdoor:
    TJ Beelen (3rd, discus)
    Lauren Cheadle (3rd, 4x100 meter relay)
    Kenya Culmer (2nd, high jump; 3rd, triple jump)
    Sadie Darnell (3rd, 5000 meter run)
    Josh Freeman (1st, shot put)
    DeAnna Price (2nd, hammer throw)
    Amiris Warren (2nd, 100m dash; 3rd, 4x100 relay)
    Curtis Wideman (2nd, discus)
    Desiree White (3rd, 4x100 meter relay)

    2012 Indoor:
    Kenya Culmer (2nd, high jump)
    Mobola Rotibi (3rd, 800 meter run)

    2012 Outdoor:
    Kenya Culmer (1st, high jump)
    Lacey Gibson (3rd, 10,000 meter run)
    Mobola Rotibi (3rd, 800 meter run)

    2011 Outdoor:
    Kenya Culmer (2nd, high jump)


     

     

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