SIU Track and Field grabs two first-place finishes at Jesse Owens Classic


(Corrin Hunt | @CorrinIHunt)

Southern Illinois sophmore Marcellus Fletcher in the Men’s Long Jump Saturday, March 24, 2018 during the Bill Cornell Spring Classic at the Lew Hertzog Track and Field complex. (Corrin Hunt | @CorrinIHunt)

The Saluki men’s and women’s track and field teams converged to compete on Friday and Saturday at the Jesse Owens Classic at Ohio State University. Iaunia Pointer and Xavier Preston shined at the event, both capturing first-place finishes.

Preston kicked off the festivities on Day 1 in the men’s 200m dash where he finished first with a 21.02 time. The time matched with Christian Donatelli’s showing from earlier this year for the seventh-fastest run all-time in SIU history. Preston was a part of the men’s 100m dash as well where he placed fourth with a time of 10.42.

SIU sprinters Donatelli and Jeremiah Hamilton also competed in the 200m race, finishing third and sixth respectively. Donatelli posted a time of 21.32 seconds while Hamilton finished at 21.48.


Pointer proved why she was the MVC Track Athlete of the Week, as she finished in first place in the women’s 400m dash with a posted time of 53.89 on Day 2 of the Classic. This performance comes in seventh in SIU history for the 400m. She came just short of capturing another first-place finish in the 200m dash but settled for second, coming in at 23.81 seconds.

The men’s 5000m run featured Salukis Dawson Smith and Ethan Senti both finishing in the top-three. Smith completed the trek in 14:30.49 seconds, placing him in second. Senti was right behind him, posting a time of 14:31.97 which slotted him in third. Rachel Anderson now ranks sixth in program history for her performance in the women’s 5000m dash as she finished with a time of 16:51.38, earning a third-place finish.

The Dawgs claimed two top 10 finishes in the women’s 1500m run with Brianna Nieset and Claire Ayers. Nieset came in at 4:35.51 which was good for seventh place while Ayers finished in ninth with a time of 4:37.08. Weston Jokerst ran in the men’s 1500m and earned sixth place while finishing the run in 3:53.64 seconds.

The men’s discus throw event also showcased two Salukis in the top three as Daniel Norris and Cole Targgart placed second and third, respectively. Norris is now second all-time on the SIU program’s leaderboards with his throw of 57.96m. Targgart’s throw marked at 56.18m. Matisen Ingle competed in the women’s discus and placed seventh for her 46.35m toss.

Josh Delgado came in at third for Southern during the men’s 800m dash, posting a time of 1:51.59 seconds. Both SIU teams finished well, with the men running the 4×400 and the women competing in the 4×100. The men’s relay team involved Hamilton, Isaiah Pressley, Lamark Threadgill, and Bryson Wilson who combined for a time of 3:17.67, claiming third. The women’s squad consisting of Preston, Miracle Berry, Vashti Grey, and Shavell Riley finished in fourth posting a time of 46.51 seconds.

The team will be split up across three different events next weekend as the Clark Wood Open, Drake Relays, and Penn Relays will all take place over April 28-29. These will be the final events of the indoor season before the MVC Outdoor Championships commence in May.

Sports reporter Howard Woodard can be reached at [email protected].


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