Saluki seniors shine in last home meet


By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

The Bill Cornell Spring Classic was more than just another home meet for the SIU track and field team.

The lone home meet of the outdoor season also served as a Senior Day for the seniors on roster. The 14 seniors on roster combined for six of the Dawgs’ 25 event wins on Saturday.

Kathleen Raske, director of track and field/cross-country, said she is happy for — and proud of — the seniors for their performances.


“They were all relishing their last home meet of their career,” she said. “We’re not done yet, that’s the exciting part, we’re just scratching the surface.”

Senior thrower Josh Freeman collected two of the wins for the senior class, opening the day with a win in discus and following it up with a shot put win. He threw 53.59 and 19.19 meters, respectively, in the events.

Freeman said he could have thrown for a personal-best in the discus today, but he was happy with how his events went. He said throws coach J.C. Lambert told him his last discus throw would have shattered his personal best of 57.09 meters, fourth all-time at SIU, if he would have gotten more height on it.

“For right now, it’s incredible that it would have even gone anywhere near that far,” Freeman said. “Shot went a lot better than I thought it would after throwing the disk and sitting around for an hour and a half.”

Freeman said this was the best series of his career in discus, despite not having a “big throw.”

Senior thrower DeAnna Price added an event win with a distance of 70.40 meters in the hammer throw. She also added a runner-up performance in the shot put with a throw of 16.04 meters.

Price said the final home meet was emotional because of the memories she has made at SIU.


“It’s an honor, because this is my family and we’re representing our Saluki pride,” she said. “We do it for the name on our front, SIU. We don’t do it for the name on our back. That’s what makes us different from other schools.”

Fellow senior thrower Alexus Scott beat Price to win the shot with a throw of 16.15 meters.

The last senior to win a field event was pole vaulter Jon Walsh, who cleared the bar at 4.91 meters on his first attempt to claim his first win of the outdoor season. He cleared 4.90 meters last weekend at the Alabama Relays.

Senior sprinter Kemar Jones added the final senior event win with a time of 14.17 seconds in the 110 meter hurdle event.

While it wasn’t a win, the four runners who participated in the men’s 1,500 meter run set personal records. Senior Oscar Medina, sophomore Lucas Horton, sophomore Denis O’Callaghan and junior Brandon Shemonia finished third, seventh, eighth, and 10th, respectively.

Medina said the distance team usually starts off slow, so he was happy to see so many personal bests in an early outdoor season meet.

“We’re ready to roll and we’re ready to make moves,” he said. “I want to leave SIU by leaving [the underclassmen] with all my knowledge, so seeing them destroy the 1,500 is amazing. I’m ready to punch out with the Missouri Valley Conference title with the team, and that’s the way to end.”

Medina said all the personal records set shows the team is ready to compete this outdoor season.

Three Salukis recorded multiple event wins on Saturday including junior Kyle Landon and sophomores Kezia Martin and Mystique Thompson.

Landon won the long and high jump with marks of 7.26 and 2.20 meters.

Martin won the long jump with a distance of 5.49 meters followed by a win in the triple jump with a distance of 11.59 meters.

Thompson was the last of the trio, winning both the 100- and 200-meter sprints with times of 11.96 and 24.24 seconds.

SIU also swept the relays Saturday, winning the men’s and women’s 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter events.

The Dawgs compete next beginning Friday when they travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to compete in the SEMO Relays. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3333