Salukis open outdoor season at home with second annual Bill Cornell Spring Classic

    Senior Zach Dahleen

    Senior Zach Dahleen

    March 27, 2014

    Bill Cornell Spring Classic
     Dates Mar. 28-29
     Location Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex -- Carbondale, Ill.
     Map Map
     Meet Info Meet Schedule | Heat Sheets (Day One) | Heat Sheets (Day Two)
     Live Results Endurance Timing
     Rankings Men's National | Women's National | Missouri Valley
     Records SIU Record Book
     Media Guide Media Guide
     Social Media @SIU_TrackXC  | Saluki Track and Field  | Saluki Athletics 

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Saluki track and field is set to open its outdoor season at home with the second annual Bill Cornell Spring Classic on Friday and Saturday at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex.

    This is the second iteration of the Bill Cornell Spring Classic, which honors three-time All-American and two-time NCAA Runner-Up Bill Cornell (1962-65), who was also a coach at Southern from 1984-92. This is also just the third meet held in SIU's new Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex, which was dedicated on March 28, 2013. The meet will be scored and will feature Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana State, UMKC, Western Illinois and Wisconsin-Milwaukee in addition to SIU.

    Southern is coming off a strong indoor season that saw three national qualifiers that each earned Second-Team All-American honors and five individual Missouri Valley Conference champions. Saluki student-athletes also toppled three all-time indoor records, as Josh Freeman broke SIU throws coach John Smith's 30-year old shot put record, Kenya Culmer broke her own high jump record with her MVC championship-winning clearance of 1.83m (6-00.00), and junior distance runner Sadie Darnell added another school record to her name with her All-MVC performance in the 5000 meter run.

    From the 2013 outdoor season, SIU returns 11 NCAA Regional qualifiers and one MVC Champion (Josh Freeman, shot put). Injuries have plagued the Salukis so far in 2014, however, as Southern will be without 2013 All-American DeAnna Price (throws), 2013 regional qualifier Bradley Sauer (throws) and 2013 MVC 400 meter dash champion Nikolai Gall (sprints) due to injury.

    The most prominent storyline of the outdoor season, though, will be the return of star distance runner Zach Dahleen, who will be competing in his final track season at SIU. Dahleen redshirted the 2013 outdoor season due to injury, but was a key component to the Saluki men's second straight MVC Cross Country title last fall. Dahleen, a native of Orland Park, Ill., is a six-time MVC Champion (two outdoors), a 2012 second-team All-American in the 1500 meter run, and the 2013 MVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Dahleen is also the all-time SIU record holder in the indoor mile (4:00.16) and the outdoor 1500 meter run (3:41.18).

    Day One on Friday will begin with the discus and long jump at 3 p.m., followed by the 10,000 meter run at 6 p.m.

    Participating Teams:
    Eastern Illinois
    Illinois State
    Indiana State
    Southern Illinois
    Western Illinois