June 1, 2010
NEW ORLEANS, La. - After falling out of the top-25 to No. 26 last week, the Southern Illinois women's track and field team climbed to No. 16 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national team rankings after a strong showing at the West portion of the NCAA preliminary rounds.
The Saluki women will take four throwers to the finals of the NCAA Championships in three events. Jeneva McCall is the only female athlete to advance to the finals in three events and one of just three athletes to do so in the both the men's and women's field. McCall will compete in the shot put, discus and hammer throw after winning the hammer and finishing fifth in the shot and third in the discus over the weekend. McCall was a two-time All-American at the indoor championships earlier this season.
Teammates Gwen Berry, Olga Ciura and Sasha Leeth will also compete in the hammer throw after the Salukis took four of the top-five positions in the event. Berry and Leeth were national qualifiers a year ago, Leeth earning All-American honors in the indoor weight throw earlier this season. Ciura will make her first trip to nationals.
Among Missouri Valley Conference schools, the Saluki women take six of 14 entries to finals at the national meet, while the men take three of five entries.