Salukis still not satisfied

By Gus Bode

Men’s and women’s track and field seasons were good, but they’re still looking to improve

Last season, the Salukis not only performed well on the track, but off of it as well.

At the end of the spring semester, the SIU men’s and women’s track and field teams were notified that five of their athletes had been named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete team.


Those named were seniors Joe Zeibert (distance), Dan Harrell (pole vault), Julia Roundtree (mid-distance), junior Marian Appia-Kubi (mid-distance) and sophomore Noa Beitler (mid-distance).

The student-athletes were given the honor due to their ability to give star performances in the classroom as well as on the track.

Other highlights of the year were several athletes being the MVC athlete of the week. Jaanus Uudmae (jumps), Korto Dunbar (sprints), Jeff Young (hurdles), Adam Judge (throws) and Latrice Gray (high jump) all received the honor for great performances in a given week.

On the track, the season came to a close with the men finishing sixth and the woman fifth at the MVC Championships.

The last and biggest meet of the season was the NCAA Championships, where the men sent Young, Judge and Uudmae as representatives.

The past year also saw longtime school records broken.

Judge was impressive in breaking the record in the hammer throw with a distance of 204 feet, after it had been set in 1985 by Tom Smith at 203ft. Two weeks later, he broke his own record. During the indoor season he also broke the weight throw record.


Young, who had only been at SIU for one season after transferring from Seton Hall, broke the 60-meter hurdles record during the indoor season.

The only women’s athlete to break a record was Dunbar in the 60-meter hurdles. She ran in a time of 8.66 seconds to break the record that had been set in 1987 by Kathleen Raske.

Even with the success stories there were still bad moments throughout the season. The coaches were proud of the athletes, but felt they could have done better, not only for the team, but for themselves as well.

Men’s head coach Cameron Wright said that he was proud of the team and its accomplishments, but he was not pleased with the overall performance.

When looking back on the season, he said that every meet had good performances, but they needed to put them all together and come out with at least one strong meet.

The women’s team had its ups and downs, but did not let bad outweigh the good. Even when the results were not as expected, head coach Connie Price-Smith was still proud of the women and kept trying to motivate and train them to continue getting better than the previous meet.

Price-Smith said that no matter what, she was proud of the girls and knows that when they step on the field that they will perform at the best of their ability.

For the upcoming season, both teams are looking to improve the MVC standings and continue to perform at a level that will help break more records than before.

I’m looking to finish in the top three because I know they have the potential to do it, Wright said.