SIU Invitational winner aims for conference

By Gabriella Scibetta

Junior Oscar Medina captured his first individual win Saturday while leading the Salukis to a first-place finish.

Despite previous honors, Medina was missing a win which he achieved at the annual Saluki Invitational men’s 8K with a time of 24:25.7; missing his best time by seconds.

“It took me four years to get my first win as a Division I college athlete, so to get that first colligate win, it was a big thing to me,” Medina said.


He earned his second-straight All-Missouri Valley Conference honor last season and finished sixth at the MVC Championships.

Coach David Beauchem said this win was a good step for him.

“Oscar has been working toward his season and has been committed to improving and being more consistent through the whole season,” Beauchem said. “This win was a good step for him in terms of gaining confidence in that race, pushing harder in the race and setting him up for the next few races.”

Medina said he didn’t think he would win a race, but is more confident moving forward.

“After this weekend, I feel that I’m improving and I’m excited for the season,” he said.

Junior Juan Carrera said he noticed Medina’s progress.

“Of course as an athlete we’re always competitive,” he said. “But I’m proud of the consistent progress he’s made here as a runner and it really showed on Saturday,” Carrera said.


Carrera, who grew close with Medina during training, said Medina brings energy to the team’s practice.

“He likes to bring life into our runs when we sometimes take training too serious,” Carrera said. “At the same time when it comes to serious training sessions he’s always ready to go.”

He said a lot of the team put in the practice over the summer, making a difference in its performance now.

“This year, we are looking strong, everyone is older and have a couple years of experience,” he said. “Now that we have such a veteran team, we are looking to extend that step, which we are hoping to do really well in regionals and hopefully make the trip to nationals.”

Medina said without his team, he wouldn’t be competing and winning championships.

Medina said the Salukis have work to do, but they are hard working athletes and are dedicated to compete in the NCAA championships.

“I’m happy having a great team, because without my teammates, I don’t think I would ever be here,” he said. “My teammates are a big part of my success and being apart of the team, we all push one another.”

Gabriella Scibetta can be reached at [email protected]or on Twitter @gscibetta_DE