Culmer, Freeman and Lozano to compete at NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend

    Junior Sophia Lozano qualified for nationals by one centimeter. (Photo Credit courtesy of Roland Ferrie, UNI University Relations)

    Junior Sophia Lozano qualified for nationals by one centimeter. (Photo Credit courtesy of Roland Ferrie, UNI University Relations)

    March 13, 2014

    NCAA Indoor Championships
     Dates Mar. 14-15
     Location Albuquerque, N.M. -- Albuquerque Convention Center (UNM)
     Meet Info Meet Schedule | Heat Sheets
     Champ. Info Championship Central
     Video ESPN3 | Flotrack
     Live Results Live Results
     Rankings Men's National | Women's National
     Records SIU Record Book
     Media Guide Media Guide
     Social Media @SIU_TrackXC  | Facebook 

    By Tyler Wooten

    ALBUQUERQUE -- Saluki track and field will conclude its indoor season at the NCAA Indoor Championships hosted by the University of New Mexico, where SIU is sending three student-athletes to compete on Friday and Saturday.

    Senior Kenya Culmer (high jump), junior Sophia Lozano (weight throw) and sophomore Josh Freeman (shot put) will represent Southern at the national meet -- the most Salukis sent indoors in two years. In 2012, SIU sent Jeneva McCall (weight throw, shot put), J.C. Lambert (weight throw) and Malaikah Love (pentathlon) -- when McCall won a national title and Lambert earned a runner-up finish in the weight throw.

    Culmer made a monumental leap in the national standings to qualify in the high jump with her Missouri Valley Conference championship performance on March 2. Culmer, who owns both the indoor and outdoor SIU all-time high jump records, shattered her own indoor record with a winning clearance of 1.83m (6-00.00) that shot her up from 26th in the national standings into a tie for ninth. After the ties were broken and scratches entered, Culmer now enters the national meet as the eighth-ranked high jumper in the nation. This is her first trip to the national meet. Outdoors she is a three-time NCAA Regional Qualifier.

    Lozano -- who has set a new personal best in the weight throw several times throughout the indoor season -- won the MVC weight throw title with yet another personal best throw of 20.89m (68-06.50), which ranks fifth all-time at SIU and just narrowly qualified her for the national meet in 16th place. Her winning heave at the MVC Championships dramatically gave her a one centimeter edge to make it into the national meet.

    Freeman, SIU's all-time leader in the indoor shot put, finished ranked tied for 12th nationally at 19.43m (63-09.00) -- which, after the tie was broken puts him as the 12th-ranked thrower in the event. Freeman finished second in the shot put at the MVC Indoor Championships behind third-ranked shot putter Curtis Jensen of Illinois State.

    ESPN3 will offer a live stream of the championship starting at 6:55 p.m. CST on Friday (March 14), and 6:50 p.m. on Saturday. ESPNU will air a tape-delay at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.

Friday, March 14

    5:00 p.m. - Women's Weight Throw - Sophia Lozano

    Saturday, March 15
1:30 p.m. - Men's Shot Put - Josh Freeman
1:30 p.m. - Women's High Jump - Kenya Culmer

    * = All times are Central