Daily Egyptian

Saluki Track and Field wins big At MVC Indoor Championships

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

After completing a successful indoor regular season, the Dawgs packed their bags and headed to Cedar Falls, Iowa to compete in the MVC Indoor Championships.

Southern entered the competition with several number one marks and top three marks. For overall team scores, the women finished in third with 95 points behind Indiana and Illinois State, while the men finished in fifth on their end with 79 points.

Combined, the men and women took home seven MVC titles and nine All-MVC honors.

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Junior multi-event athlete Madison Meyer got the ball rolling for Southern on Saturday scoring a personal best of 3,871 points to take home the title in the women’s pentathlon.

The Carterville native finished above third in all five of the events and set three new personal bests. One of these took place in the 60 meter hurdles where Meyer ran a time of 8.74 to move up to the tenth spot on the Saluki All-Time list.

The second title of the day came on a win in the men’s weight throw from senior Adam Kessler. Despite being just his second time participating in the event, the senior took home the win with a personal best toss of 64’ 7.25’’. Kessler’s toss moved him up to number ten on the all-time list and gave SIU their 11th win of the past 14 MVC weight throw championships.

Senior Ricky Hurley finished third in the event to earn All-MVC honors which made it his seventh time doing so.

The next top finish on Saturday came from sophomore pole vaulter Erin Diemer as she took home a third place finish her event after clearing a personal best height of 12’ 2’’.

In the women’s weight throw sophomore Shauniece O’Neal completed a personal best toss of 67’ 5’’ to take home second place in the event and move up to the ninth spot on the Saluki all-time list. Her teammate junior Alexis Roberson was right behind her in third with a toss of 67’ 5’’.

Preliminary sprint races also took place on Saturday and six of the Saluki sprinters solidified eight spaces in Sunday’s finals. The women qualified four athletes, while the men qualified two.

On Sunday, Kessler kicked off the day for the Dawgs taking home another title in the men’s shot put. He broke his own meet record with a toss of 63’ 7.75’’ to bring home his second VC indoor shot title. This win also earned the senior the MVC Most Outstanding Men’s Field Athlete award which marked the fourth year in a row that an SIU male has earned this honor.

Senior sprinter Tyjuana Eason was the top scorer and stand out for the Saluki women. She swept three events at the championships and broke two school records.

Her first title came in the 60 meter dash where she ran a time of 7.38 seconds to break the school record and make history as the first SIU female athlete to win the event.

Eason’s next win was in the 200 meter dash where she broke yet another school record with a time of 24.12 to become just the 15th woman in school history two win both the 60 and 200 meter dashes.

Her teammate Bri’Anna Branch also made it to the podium as she earned a third place finish in the event. She later won her last title in the 1600 meter relay with teammate Savannah Long, Genesis Ewell and Julia Lutz.

After winning these events Eason is not a 13 time All-MVC honoree.

Ewell was another top finisher for the women earning a third place spot on the podium after clocking a time of 55.81 in the meter dash. This was Ewell’s first individual All-MVC honor as she earned her other on relays.

On the men’s side the field athletes were Southern’s top finishers winning two titles on the final day of competition.

While Kessler earned the first field win of the day, junior Willie Rogers won the second as he took home the title in the men’s triple jump with a personal best leap of 49’ 8.50’. Prior to the championships the junior hadn’t competed in a full month. Winning the event on his final jump, Rogers became the 11th Saluki male to win a triple jump title.

Three more men earned their very first  All-MVC honors on the final day of the meet. They were sophomores Caleb Vogel, Theo Phipps, and Canoy Tyree.

Vogel earned a second place finish in the high jump after clearing  6’ 10.25’’, while Phipps earned a third place finish in the 60 meter hurdles running a personal best time of 8.05 seconds.

Tyree earned a third place finish for his performance in the 800 meter dash as he ran a time of 1:54.82. After making it to the podium, the sophomore became the first to do so since 2012.

You can catch the Dawgs again on Friday, March 22 as they kick off their outdoor season in Carbondale with the Bill Cornell Spring Classic at the Lew Hartzog Track and Field Complex.

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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