Five Salukis compete at last chance meets in final attempt to qualify for nationals

    Senior Kim Fortney is ranked nationally in both the weight throw (20th) and shot put (29th).

    Senior Kim Fortney is ranked nationally in both the weight throw (20th) and shot put (29th).

    March 1, 2013

    Men's National Rankings | Women's National Rankings

    By Tyler Wooten

    Saluki throwers Kim Fortney, Josh Freeman, Sophia Lozano and DeAnna Price as well as distance MVC Champion Zach Dahleen will all compete at last chance meets on Saturday to improve their stock for the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-9.

    To qualify for nationals, student-athletes must be ranked in the top-16 of their respective events, a change from years past where hitting qualifying marks automatically guaranteed entrance into the national meet. The five Salukis competing on Saturday are all ranked within the top-50 nationally.

    Southern's four throwers will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. -- the site of this year's national meet -- for the Arkansas Final Qualifier. All four student-athletes are nationally ranked in the top-30 in the weight throw and shot put. Kim Fortney (20th, weight throw; 29th, shot put), Josh Freeman (27th, shot put), Sophia Lozano (22nd, weight throw) and DeAnna Price (26th, weight throw) will represent Southern at the meet. All four will need to improve their personal bests to move up in the rankings, as their current rankings are PR marks.

    Mile and 3000 meter run MVC Champion Zach Dahleen will try to improve on his 4:00.46 season-best mile time to qualify for nationals at the Alex Wilson Invitational at the University of Notre Dame on Saturday. Dahleen's time currently ranks 42nd nationally but is still three tenths-of-a-second off his personal best (4:00.16, Alex Wilson Invitational, March 2, 2012). To crack into the top-16, Dahleen will have to run a sub-4:00 mile time; the top-16 spots rank from 3:52 to 3:58.



    Currently, sophomore Bradley Sauer is the only Saluki within contention for the national meet. Sauer's PR heave of 21.17m (69-05.50) sits at 11th in the country.

    National Rankings (Top-50):
    11. Bradley Sauer - Weight Throw, 21.17m (69-05.50)
    27. Josh Freeman - Shot Put, 18.48m (60-07.75)
    42. Zach Dahleen - Mile, 4:00.46

    20. Kim Fortney - Weight Throw, 20.41m (66-11.50)
    22. Sophia Lozano - Weight Throw, 20.32m (66-08.00)
    24. Kenya Culmer - High Jump, 1.80m (05-10.75)
    26. DeAnna Price - Weight Throw, 20.13m (66-00.50)
    29. Kim Fortney - Shot Put, 16.28m (53-05.00)
    43. Ashley Gaston - Shot Put, 15.79m (51-09.75)
    49. Kenya Culmer - Triple Jump, 12.51m (41-00.50)