Salukis shine at SIU Invitational

By Brent Meske, @BrentmeskeDE

The Salukis had the home field advantage for the last time in the 2014-15 indoor track and field season and took advantage of it, sweeping the men’s and women’s titles. SIU finished with 13 event titles.

The sweep was highlighted by freshmen Lindsey Murray and Raven Saudners. Murray broke her own school record for the fourth meet in a row in pole vault and Saunders broke the all-time indoor American Junior shot put record.

On Friday, Murray jumped a height of 4.30 meters, which improves on her previous indoor school record of 4.14 meters. Her new height moves her to No. 6 in the nation. She was previously No. 18. She has broken the record in each of the last three meets.

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Murray said she was happy to finally hit the 14-foot mark

“I just want to go higher,” she said. “I can only go up from here.”

Track and Field coach Connie Price-Smith said it will never get old watching Murray break her own record.

“It’s not old hat, and it never will be,” she said. “She’s going to keep going and go even higher. I can’t wait to see that.”

SIU also won the men’s pole vault competition with the 5.07 meter jump by junior Jonathan Walsh. The jump was a personal best for Walsh, who now has the top-two Saluki jumps of the year.

Weight throw was another sweep for the Salukis. Senior DeAnna Price won the women’s event with a throw of 21.34 meters, a personal record. The throw makes her only the sixth woman in Saluki history to throw for more than 70 feet. Her teammate and fellow senior Sophia Lozano threw 21.57 meters at the Saluki Fast Start on Dec. 6.

Senior Curtis Wideman threw for a personal best of 21.25 meters to win the men’s weight throw. The throw was the best of the year for Saluki men and moved Wideman up to No. 3 in all-time indoor history at SIU.

On Saturday, freshman thrower Raven Saunders broke the all-time indoor American Junior shot put record with a throw of 17.64 meters. The personal record throw won Sauders the event, became her new personal record and moved her to No. 1 in the nation this year.

Price-Smith said even though the throw was not a school record, she is still impressed with Saunders this season.

“I’ll take an American Junior record,” she said. “Our school record is pretty tough and we’ve had a lot of good shot putters come through here. The ceiling is kind of high for that.”

Saunders is now No. 2 in all-time indoor school history. Jeneva McCall, former three-time NCAA champion, holds the record at 17.97 meters.

The Saluki men also took home the victory in shot put behind junior thrower Josh Freeman’s 18.91 meter throw. The throw was Freeman’s furthest of the year.

SIU also swept both the 60 meter hurdle with junior Remy Abrought (8.55 seconds) winning the women’s and junior Kemar Jones (8.10) winning the men’s event.

Cross-country seniors Krista Menghini and Juan Carrera won the 3,000 meter run with times of 10:08.74 and 8:33.02 respectively.

The Salukis have two more events before the Missouri Valley Conference Championships. The team will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday for the Fred Wilt Invitational.

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

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