Salukis send three to NCAA Championships at University of Oregon

    J.C. Lambert, 2011 hammer throw All-American.

    J.C. Lambert, 2011 hammer throw All-American.

    June 4, 2013

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    By Tyler Wooten

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Saluki track and field will send three student-athletes to the NCAA Championships at the University of Oregon on Wednesday in the hopes of bringing home hardware in the men's and women's hammer throw and women's shot put.

    Making the trip to Oregon will be 2011 hammer throw All-American J.C. Lambert (hammer throw), 2012 hammer throw All-American DeAnna Price (hammer throw) and 2012 second team All-American shot-putter Kim Fortney, who will be participating in both the hammer throw and shot put. Fortney and Price will be looking to defend former Saluki Jeneva McCall's 2012 national title in the hammer throw.

    Lambert has made 2013 the icing on the cake of his storied SIU throwing career, and he is looking to etch his name on yet another All-American plaque before he's done. The Harrisburg, Ill., native returned from a bout of Rocky Mountain spotted fever that forced him out of the 2012 outdoor season to set the all-time Missouri Valley Conference hammer throw record twice in 2013 -- the final time coming at the MVC Outdoor Championships, where his 67.22m (220-06) also shattered the championships record. With every MVC and SIU hammer throw record now his, Lambert went on to qualify for nationals with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA West Regionals -- his third outdoor NCAA berth in four seasons.

    Sophomore DeAnna Price is also hoping to cement her place in Saluki history -- and with two years to spare. If Price were to earn All-American status, she would become the first Saluki female to be an All-American in the first two years of her career and the fourth four-year Saluki ever -- the first since Saluki Hall of Fame sprinter Michael Franks, who earned All-American status in at least one season (indoor or outdoor) each year of his Saluki career. The journey to Oregon for Price included an All-MVC runner-up performance in the hammer throw at the MVC Outdoor Championships, a fifth-place qualifying finish at the NCAA West Regionals and a new personal best of 65.18m (213-10) set at the conference meet that leapfrogged teammate Kim Fortney for fourth all-time in Saluki history.

    Finally, Fortney will conclude her consistently excellent Saluki career in two events at the national meet -- the hammer throw and shot put. The Hindsboro, Ill., native has had a stellar 2013 season, earning All-MVC four times between the indoor and outdoor seasons in the weight throw, hammer throw, and both the indoor and outdoor shot put. At the NCAA West Regionals, Fortney improved her personal best in the shot put yet again to 16.80m (55-01.50) -- the fourth-best throw in Saluki history -- for fifth place and a trip to nationals. A 2012 second-team All-American in the shot put, this is Fortney's second straight trip to the national meet for the shot put, and her first in the hammer throw.

    Fortney and Price will compete in the hammer throw on Day One at 3:30 p.m. CST, Lambert will participate in the hammer throw at Day Two on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. CST, and Fortney will throw in the shot put on the final day of the championships on Saturday at 3 p.m. CST.

    The NCAA Championships will be broadcast on ESPNU on Friday and Saturday, and live streaming will be available through Oregon and the Pac-12 for each day and ESPN3 starting on Thursday. For more information, you can find the broadcast schedule HERE.