Daily Egyptian

SIU finishes with eight champions at MVC Indoor Championships

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

SIU finished the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships with eight MVC championships, and 16 All-MVC honorees. 

Before the weekend, both teams were picked to finish third but the women finished just 3 points behind Indiana State in second and the men finished in fourth. 

Saturday was a quick start for the Salukis with four individual champions and seven total All-MVC honors. The men finished the day in first, and the women in third.

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SIU swept the weight throw with the help of seniors DeAnna Price and Curtis Wideman, earning the first championships of the weekend. 

Price won her first ever MVC Championship with a throw of 21.06 meters. With the victory, she became SIU’s 10th women’s weight throw champion in coach John Smith’s 11 tries. 

Defending champion, senior Sophia Lozano finished second with a throw of 20.56 meters. Sophomore Freya Block, junior Alexus Scott and freshman Raven Saunders finished sixth, eighth and ninth respectively. Block earned All-MVC honors for her finish.

Wideman had been an All-MVC honoree before Saturday, but his throw of 20.79 meters was his first MVC Championship. Junior Bradley Sauer and junior Josh Freeman finished second and sixth, respectively. Sauer was a 2013 NCAA weight throw national qualifier but finished with All-MVC honors this year.

SIU’s third championship of the day came from senior Lauren Cheadle who won her second-straight indoor MVC long jump title. Cheadle jumped 6.17 meters for the victory, which built on her standing as No. 1 in the MVC and No. 3 all-time on SIU’s indoor list. The jump also added six inches to her personal record.

The fourth and final championship of the day came from the distance medley relay team—its first championship since 2001. Seniors Mobola Rotibi, Kelley Gallagher and Allison Gallo, along with sophomore Victoria Archie won the race with a time of 11:53.22, capturing the victory by less than one second.

The final All-MVC honor for the Salukis on Saturday came from senior Juan Carrera. Carrera finished third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:31.24, a 10-second increase on his personal best. This was Carrera’s first all-conference honor for track, but he was a two-time All-MVC cross-country runner during his career at SIU.

While the men’s pole vault team did not record a victory or All-MVC performance, it finished with five scorers. Sophomore Chad Weaver led the team with a jump of 5.08 meters to finish fourth. Junior Jonathan Walsh and senior Alex Lietz tied for fifth and sophomore Nathan Schuck and freshman Chase Black finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Vaults coach Brian Porter continued his impressive career in only his third year as a coach at SIU. After Saturday’s performance, Porter’s vaulters now hold three spots in the all-time top-10 SIU pole vault records.

On Sunday, the Salukis added four more MVC championships and nine All-MVC honors.

Much like Saturday’s weight throw sweep, the Salukis dominated the shot put with Saunders and Freeman winning the events.

Saunders won the event with a throw of 17.98 meters. She was joined on the podium by senior Ashley Gaston who finished second to earn an All-MVC honor. Price and junior Alexus Scott also earned points for the Salukis finishing fourth and seventh, respectively.

Freeman won the men’s event with a throw of 18.66 meters. Freeman was the outdoor MVC shot put champion the last two years and earned All-MVC honors both years indoors. Wideman finished second.

Senior Jeff Stewart and Sauer finished sixth and seventh respectively to earn the Salukis points.

Freshman Lindsey Murray continued her dominant year in pole vault with a MVC championship on a jump of 4.18 meters.

Sophomore Katie Trupp, senior Caselyn Harding and sophomore Cara Engel finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Trupp’s jump of 3.98 meters was a personal best.

In the men’s high jump, sophomore Kyle Landon defended his indoor MVC championship with a jump of 2.10 meters. 

The Salukis also had All-MVC finishes from three other athletes on Sunday.

Junior Remy Abrought finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43 seconds, just a tenth of a second behind race-winner Nikki Larch-Miller, a Wichita State sophomore. 

Senior Cetrena Simmons finished second in the high jump with a height of 1.69 meters. This was tied with Indiana State sophomore LeVisa Evans who won the event, completing the height in two jumps as opposed to Simmons’ three.

The final All-MVC performance of the weekend came from senior Luke James, who finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 15.69 meters. Loyola senior James McLachlan won the event with a distance of 15.91 meters.

Qualified Salukis will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 13 in Fayetteville, Ark. The entire team will compete in the first outdoor event at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic on March 27 at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex.

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269. 

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