Track finishes third in MVC

By Symone Woolridge

After competing for two days in Cedar Falls, Iowa for the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships, the men and women finished behind Indiana State University and Wichita State University.

Following six events Friday, the Saluki men finished in sixth place with 23 points and the women took first place, gathering 50 points, which pushed the Salukis two points ahead of second place finisher Indiana State.

Junior thrower Sophia Lozano won the weight throw competition after a 68-foot throw to become the MVC Champion.


Before the Indoor Championships, Lozano stood 14th in the nation. The Saluki said she felt mixed emotions before her throw and was even in the midst of crying as she stepped to the cage.

Prior to throwing, Lozano found out her teammate, DeAnna Price couldn’t compete because of a knee injury.

“I was really sad for her so I was teary eyed when I went up to throw,” she said. “I was also beyond nervous, probably the most nerves I ever felt, but finishing first was one of the best feelings.”

Lozano’s throw bumps her to fifth in the SIU history books and 16th in the nation.

The Salukis’ junior jumper Lauren Cheadle walked away with an MVC title as well. Cheadle finished first in the long jump after a 19-foot leap to take the crown.

Cheadle’s jump leaped to the fourth-best distance in SIU history. Her teammate, distance runner Sadie Darnell set her name in the record books as well.

Darnell finished in third place and completed the 5000-meter run in 16:48.74. Junior distance runner Krista Menghini entered the record books for seventh all-time at SIU.


On the men’s side, freshman Franklin Adams took the Salukis’ only men’s MVC title. Adams’ long jump of 24 feet put him on top. His leap also makes it the first men’s MVC Championship Indoor win since 1982.

Junior thrower Curtis Wideman threw 66 feet, which planted him in second place behind Illinois State senior Akil Mills.

For the SIU women, day two did not end as well as day one, and the women dropped from first place to third with 92.50 points. However, the men bumped themselves from sixth place to third with 95 points.

Sophomore thrower Josh Freeman finished in second place in men’s shot put after throwing 61 feet. Freeman lost to Illinois State Curtis Jensen by .08 meters. Wideman finished in third place behind Freeman.

The SIU jumpers swept day two. Freshman jumper Kyle Landon and sophomore Kemar Jones took the top two spots in the men’s high jump. Landon finished first, Jones finished second after they both jumped six feet.

Senior jumper Kenya Culmer also cleared six feet in the women’s high jump for first place. Culmer took fifth place after jumping 39 feet in the triple jump event.

Qualifiers will have one week to prepare themselves for NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-15.