Track: Salukis gain experience in final meet

By Gus Bode

The majority of the SIU track and field team took the weekend off to rest and recuperate, but for 13 Salukis, it was a chance to hone their skills one final time before the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.

The Salukis grabbed five top-10 finishes at the Bill Hayes Invitational Friday in Bloomington, Ind.

Junior sprinters Antoine Jennings and Derrick Fisher along with freshmen Sammy Biggs and Brandon Love finished fifth in the 4×100-meter with a time of 43.11 seconds.


Biggs also finished the 100-meter dash 12th with a time of 11.19. Love and Fisher finished the 100-meter dash 20th and 22nd, respectively.

SIU coach Connie Price-Smith said the underclassmen have really progressed over the course of the season.

“The underclassmen, especially Sammy, who’s been really great, are stepping up to the plate and competing well,” Price-Smith said. “We have a lot of freshmen who are doing a very good job late in the season.”

Freshman sprinter/hurdler Kendra Deck was the women’s top finisher. She finished the 400-meter in 1 minute, 2.22 seconds, good for sixth place.

Sophomore sprinter Terri Counts and senior sprinter Leslie Murillo each finished in the top 10 in the 100-meter dash.

Sprints coach Alan Turner said he was pleased with the results of his hurdlers and was glad to give the athletes some time off.

“At this point I just want my kids to be rested,” Turner said. “That’s why most of them just came here and ran one event. The more freshmen compete the better their going to get.”


In the field, junior thrower Joe Mueller tossed the hammer 52.72 meters to finish sixth. Mueller fouled on all of his hammer throws except his sixth place toss.

Price-Smith said the rest that the team received Friday would be beneficial in the long run.

“For a lot of the people it was a good to have the weekend off,” Price-Smith said. “We compete from January all the way to the end of May so I think the time off in between and the weekend before conference will get us ready to go.”

The MVC Championships take place May 11-13.