Salukis start outdoor with five titles

By Terrance Peacock

The SIU’s track and field teams began their outdoor season Friday and Saturday where it left off during the indoor season: winning titles and setting records.

The Salukis traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet and came away with five event wins.

During the event’s track portion, senior sprinter Tess Shubert claimed her first outdoor 400-meter-dash title of the 2013 season with a time of 59.92 seconds.Her time of was the only under-one-minute place in the women’s 400 meter.


The men’s 4×100 meter relay team also saw a strong outing as senior Eric Reeves, juniors Dominic Williams and Matthew Benes and freshman Nikolai Gall claimed the title at 41.66 seconds.

SIU nearly swept the 4×100 races, but the women fell just short of claiming another title. The team, composed of Shubert and sophomores Lauren Cheadle, Amiris Warren and Desiree White, fell four-tenths short of a victory clocked at 46.72 seconds.

In the first outdoor meet of the year, J.C. Lambert set a new Missouri Valley Conference record in the hammer throw. He won the men’s hammer throw with a 67.09-meter final toss in his first action since the 2012 indoor season.

Lambert’s 67.09-meter heave bested his personal record by nearly eight feet, broke former Saluki thrower Mark Millevelle’s SIU record by nearly four feet and took over the 2000 MVC all-time top throw set by Tom Berrett of Illinois State.

Sophomore Curtis Wideman and senior Bradley Sauer also competed in the hammer competition. Wideman threw 58.43 meters in the finals and placed fifth, and Sauer placed seventh with a 57.36-meter final throw.

Wideman threw 49.41 meters during the discus competition and placed second behind University of Miami at Ohio junior Robert Stein, who won with a 50.52-meter final toss. SIU freshman Josh Freeman also made it into the top five with a fifth-place finish after he threw the discus 47.30 meters in the finals.

Freeman also made the men’s shot-put top five. In the finals, he posted a 17.13-meter final throw and placed third to start his collegiate outdoor career.


The women’s field team also saw a good weekend after it landed nine top-five finishes.

Senior Kim Fortney took the women’s first weekend win in the hammer-throw competition with 61.28-meter final toss. Fortney also placed second in the shot put when she posted a 15.99-meter throw. She was followed by SIU sophomore DeAnna Price, who threw the hammer 60.99 meters in the finals.

SIU junior Kenya Culmer led jumpers after she took second in both the triple jump and high jump. Culmer leapt 1.75 meters in the high jump to finish just .05 meters behind the winner, Middle Tennessee State University senior Ann Dudley.

MVC triple-jump champion Dougie Palacious also came out victorious with a 14.95-meter leap in the triple jump, which was two feet better than second place.

The Salukis’ next meet takes place at home Friday and Saturday, when athletes will christen the new Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex at the Bill Cornell Classic.