Senior Malaikah Love
May 30, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois track and field team had nine team members named Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes, the league announced Wednesday.
Neal Anderson, Matthew Benes, Lucas Cherry, T.J. Heffernan, Collin Otto and Brad Wrage each earned the honor for the Saluki men's team while Kenya Culmer, Kim Fortney and Malaikah Love each earned the honor for the women's squad.
Thirty-seven men and 55 women were named to this year's MVC Scholar-Athlete team overall. The honor is given to student-athletes who have maintained at least a 3.2 GPA, are at least a sophomore in academic and athletic standing and placed in the top eight at the Indoor or Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Anderson is a senior criminology and criminal justice major with a 3.83 GPA. The Springfield, Ill., native earned All-MVC honors in the indoor 5k as well as the outdoor 5k and 10k. He competed in the NCAA West Regional in the 10k.
Benes is a sophomore electrical engineering major with a 3.65 GPA. He placed seventh in the 100-meter dash at the MVC Outdoor Championships.
Cherry is a junior accounting major with a 3.97 GPA. He earned All-MVC honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was part of SIU's MVC champion distance medley relay team indoors. The Carbondale native was also named the MVC's Elite 18 recipient at the 2012 MVC Outdoor Championships.
Heffernan is a junior accounting major with a 3.82 GPA. The Batavia, Ill., native was part of the MVC champion distance medley relay team and was honored with the MVC's Good Neighbor Award for the spring season.
Otto is a senior aviation technologies major with a 3.62 GPA. He placed sixth in the hammer throw at the MVC Outdoor Championships and competed in the hammer at the NCAA West Regional.
Wrage is a senior mechanical engineering major with a 3.71 GPA. He placed fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and seventh in the 5k run at the MVC Outdoor Championships.
Culmer is a sophomore management major with a 3.8 GPA. She won the MVC title in the high jump in addition to placing fourth in the triple jump at the Outdoor Championships while placing second in high jump at the Indoor Championships. The Nassau, Bahamas, native competed in the NCAA West Regional in the high jump and triple jump.
Fortney is a junior communication disorders major with a 3.85 GPA. She placed third in the hammer throw, fifth in the shot put and sixth in the javelin at the MVC Outdoor Championships while finishing fifth in the shot at the Indoor Championships. A native of Arcola, Ill., Fortney competed at the NCAA West Regional in the shot put and hammer throw, advancing to the national finals in the shot.
Love is a senior dental hygiene major with a 3.87 GPA. She won MVC titles in the pentathlon and triple jump in addition to placing third in the long jump at the Indoor Championships before winning the triple jump and placing second in the long jump and sixth in the 100-meter hurdles at the Outdoor Championships. Love competed at the NCAA West Regional in the triple jump, advancing to the national final.
The SIU track and field team will conclude its 2011-12 season June 6-9 as seven Salukis compete at the NCAA Finals at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Note: MVC Scholar-Athlete nominations were compiled prior to the completion of the spring 2012 semester. All GPAs listed in this release are updated through spring 2012.