Salukis combine for 29 top-five finishes at Murray Invitational

By Gus Bode

Women’s 4×100 relay team breaks record for second time

For the second time this season, a 15-year-old women’s track and field record was toppled.

The 4×100-meter relay team of Korto Dunbar, Kelsey Toussaint, Yvonne Cohen and Sherlenia Green broke the 1989 school record four weeks ago at the Spring Classic.

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At Saturday’s non-scored Murray State Twilight Invitational, the quartet shaved .16 seconds from its record and finished runner-up with a time of 45.93 seconds, .13 seconds from the regional qualifying mark.

The foursome’s top-five finish would be one of 29 produced by the women and men’s track and field teams.

“It was a good meet,” said women’s head coach Connie Price-Smith. “The throwers did really well. They went out and competed well, and on the track we had some good performances, as well. It was a nice low-key meet and a chance for everybody to get a chance to compete and get ready for conference.”

The women’s squad would take two titles in the field events, as senior Danielle Lawary tied her season-best mark in the shot put with a throw of 47 feet, 9.75 inches and sophomore Megan Cenkush won the javelin competition with a toss of 124-09.25.

Juniors Venisha Williams and Katy Ritten also performed well. Williams finished third in the discus, with a distance of 140-05, and finished second in the hammer throw.

Ritten was runner-up to Lawary in the shot put and finished fourth in the hammer throw with a mark of 149-09.25.

“I think that the distances were a little bit down, but I think for this time of the year I wasn’t extremely disappointed,” Price-Smith said. “They could have been better though.”

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The men’s team won three events, as senior Willie Davis, junior Freddy Rule and the 4×100-meter relay squad outperformed their competition.

Rule finished first in the high jump with a leap of 6-08 and the 4×100 relay team took first with a time of 42.17.

Davis won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.56, just .30 seconds slower than the regional qualifying mark. Davis also took second in the 200-meter dash with a time .60 seconds shy of the regional mark.

“Willie’s been real good,” said men’s head coach Cameron Wright. “He’s going to have a fantastic finish this season. He’s got a chance to do a lot of big things this year.

“It’s a great time in Willie’s life right now. He’s really excelling.”

Four Salukis-Cherylynn Schilling, Noa Beitler, Tony LaChiana and Ed Mastny-competed in the Drake Relays last weekend.

Beitler, a senior from Israel, was the only one to finish in the top 10, taking eighth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.43 and coming within a second of qualifying for the regional meet.

The Salukis have two more meets before competing against the best in the Missouri Valley Conference in the Outdoor Championships May 12-14.

Both squads will be in action this weekend. The women will travel to Ohio for the Jesse Owens Classic, while the men will be in Champaign for a dual meet against Illinois.

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