Salukis peak before championships

Salukis peak before championships

By Terrance Peacock


SIU’s track and field teams got a final tune-up before the Missouri Valley Championships and showed another impressive performance Saturday when they won 18 of 35 events at the Saluki Outdoor Open.

Only five teams competed at the home meet and the competition was scarce, which helped SIU win most events by default. However, the Salukis still managed to prepare for the outdoor championships as 13 team members posted personal bests, including five who broke several personal records.


Freshman sprinter Remy Abrought outran junior sprinter Laquitsha Bejoile-Hayes to claim the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Abrought finished at 14.36 seconds, while Bejoile finished .08 seconds later.

Sophomore Lauren Cheadle won two events, including a record-breaking 5.96 meter leap in the final long jump, which was enough to rank 10th in Saluki women’s long-jump history. She also displayed her speed with a time of 25.12 seconds to win the 200-meter dash.

Sophomore sprinter Amiris Warren finished the women’s 100-meter dash with a 12.20 second-first-place time.

The Salukis also claimed the top two spots in the men’s 100-meter hurdles. Freshman Kemar Jones took first with a time of 15.01 seconds, while junior Matt Benes took second at 15.09 seconds.

Senior Ryan Sidwell completed his last regular-season meet as a Saluki with two event wins. He leapt to a personal-best 4.96 meters in the pole-vault competition and displayed his speed to post a 47.98 personal record in the 400-meter dash.

“The 400-meter felt really good to come out and PR (post a personal record) today,” he said. “I came through a little fast in the first half, so I just tried to hold on to the last 200-meter and win.”

Sidwell usually competes in the heptathlon, a track and field contest composed of seven events: the 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin throw.


However, Sidwell said he will not compete in the weekend’s Missouri Valley Conference heptathlon to help his team gain more points.

“You do seven events in the multi and only have an opportunity to get 10 points out of it,” he said. “I could do the open events and have an opportunity for 30 points. Even if I don’t win all of them, I can still get a lot more and score well.”

Sidwell said it is difficult to pick what event he likes the most since he has so much experience in all of them.

“My favorite track event would definitely have to be the 400-meter dash, and the field event is probably the vault,” he said. “I don’t know which one I like better.”

Sophomore thrower Curtis Wideman led the Salukis in field events, after he won both discus and hammer throw. He set two personal records Saturday with a 53.20 meter discus throw, and a 61.03 meters in the final hammer-throw heave.

Throwing coach John Smith said the throwers were very impressive during the weekend competition.

“In total, the throws took seven events, so I am extremely pleased with how the team has progressed all year,” he said. “In the hammer, Curtis beat his old PR by nearly a meter, and that just shows how hard he has been working all year.”

The Saluki Outdoor Open was the team’s last meet before it travels to Des, Moines, Iowa, to compete in the Thursday-Sunday Missouri Valley Conference meet.

Terrance Peacock can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 269.

Jack Robinson can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 282.