Daily Egyptian

SIU thrower adapting to new event

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU track and field coaches drafted two teams for the Saluki Fast Start meet Saturday that competed against four visiting schools and each other.

Senior thrower Alex Morgan, who is entering her first season at SIU, competed for the Maroon team, which lost by one point to the white team.

Morgan, who came to SIUC for graduate school after earning a bachelor’s degree at University of Oklahoma, only has enough eligibility left to compete in this indoor season.

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Her best event at Oklahoma was discus, which is not offered in indoor track and field.

“I never thought I would be competing — especially in shot put — ever again,” Morgan said. 

At the Big XII conference championships this spring, Morgan finished fifth in the discus throw with a 163-foot 7-inch throw. Her personal best at Oklahoma was 173-foot 9-inches.

She came to the university before this season in hopes to train with former SIU coach Connie Price-Smith. But, after Price-smith left the university, SIU throws coach J.C. Lambert spoke with Morgan about competing in the indoor season.

Lambert said if a team does not resign an athlete after he or she graduates, the athlete can then sign with another team.

“She has a lot of potential,” Lambert said. “It was a [personal record] at 48 feet for her, and they were all really flat throws. She has the potential to go 51 feet.”

Morgan said her throws were so flat because of her increased strength, as she has added 50 pounds to her bench press this year.

“Oklahoma has the resources, but SIU definitely has the developmental aspect,” Morgan said. “As soon as I started dating [senior thrower Josh Freeman], I got exposed to shot put again and I shocked myself.”

She said she works out every day with her teammate and boyfriend, Freeman, who she competed against in the Fast Start meet Saturday.

“I was on the winning team — it feels great,” Freeman said. 

At the Fast Start meet, Morgan set her personal record for indoor shot put and finished third behind teammates senior Alexus Scott, who was a member of the white team and Deanna Price, who competed unattached to SIU.

Morgan’s previous best was 42-feet 11.5-inches in 2012 at Oklahoma.

“She’s going to be great help when it comes to conference,” Scott said. “She fits right in with the team.”

Morgan will not be eligible for the outdoor season in the spring, but will continue to attend school and train with the team in hopes of achieving her ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.

“I have not only progressed in shot put, but I have also progressed in my discus throwing,” Morgan said. “Shot put has actually been a great cross trainer for me — it’s helped my discus throw quite a bit.”

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at (618) 536-3304

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