SIU dominates Bill Cornell Spring Classic

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

Saluki track and field began its outdoor season by winning 18 events and sweeping the men’s and women’s competitions Saturday at Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex.

Freshmen Raven Saunders and Lindsey Murray began their outdoor collegiate careers with event victories. 

Saunders—2015 indoor shot put NCAA champion—won the shot put with a throw of 17.70 meters. Her throw broke the American Junior Record, which stood since 1991, and moved her to No. 1 in the nation this year and No. 3 all-time for SIU outdoor shot put.


Murray—2015 indoor pole vault Missouri Valley Conference champion—won the event with a height of 3.95 meters to tie the outdoor SIU record. 

After Murray’s teammates built on their standings in the record book, vault coach Brian Porter now has six of the top seven female indoor and outdoor vaulters of all-time at SIU.  

Senior Curtis Wideman won the men’s hammer throw with a distance of 66.46 meters, a new personal record by more than seven feet. The toss set a facility record and moved Wideman from No. 4 to No. 2 in all-time SIU outdoor hammer throw history. He is currently No. 6 in the NCAA. 

Wideman was pulled from the shot put and said he tweaked his groin earlier in the week and it locked up during his shot put attempt. He said he was happy to perform well in the hammer throw, despite the injury. 

“It was great being able to come out and PR in my last outdoor home meet,” he said. “It is always good to see the hard work pay off.”

Junior Josh Freeman won two of three events he entered. Freeman won discus with a throw of 52.96 meters and shot put with a throw of 19.43 meters. 

Fellow junior DeAnna Price also won two events, discus and hammer throw, and finished No. 2 in the shot put with a throw of 15.51 meters. Price won discus with a distance of 48.01 meters and set a personal record in the hammer throw with a distance of 66.44 meters. Price missed all of last outdoor season with a knee injury and is currently No. 1 in the NCAA for hammer throw. 


Throws coach John Smith said he was happy with his throwers. 

“I wasn’t yelling and screaming too much,” he said. “The women did really good, the guys were pretty good. I would give the girls a B+ and the guys a C.” 

Sophomore Kyle Landon was also a multiple-event-winner. Landon won the high jump with a height of 2.15 meters, which tied the facility record and puts him No. 9 in the NCAA. He also won his first career triple jump event with a distance of 14.06 meters, more than a four-foot improvement on his personal best. 

SIU also swept the long jump with senior Lauren Cheadle and sophomore Franklin Adams winning their events with distances of 5.64 and 7.10 meters, respectively. 

The Salukis compete Saturday in Charleston for the Big Blue Classic. 

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