Salukis sweep men’s, women’s races at home

Salukis sweep mens, womens races at home

By Symone Woolridge

 

On a warm, breezy morning, the Saluki field was crowded with SIU families showing support, as cross-country runners impressed their fans Saturday at the Saluki Invitational.

Both teams proved successful, as the men’s race—an 8K—and the women’s—a 5K—both ended with seven respective runners within the top eight—Anisher.

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In her first career win, sophomore Kelley Gallagher sprinted to the finish line with a final time of 17:46.04. Gallagher said she felt good about her performance.

“We were running in a pack of five until the 400-meter point,” Gallagher said. “I felt really strong throughout the whole race so I decided to go for it.”

Standing on the sidelines, Gallagher was supported by her father, who traveled to Carbondale to watch her.

“My dad is really excited for me. He’s been repeatedly telling me that I need to get a collegiate win,” she said. “So now I have it, and he got a chance to see me get it.”

The second-place finisher, junior Sadie Darnell, was also supported by a few of her family members. Darnell completed the race right behind Gallagher, with a final time of 17:48.68.

“We all did pretty well today,” Darnell said. “We all stuck together and pulled it out for a great win.”

Alongside Gallagher and Darnell were junior Mobola Rotibi (third, 17:49.79), sophomore Kristen Levi (fourth, 17:52.67) and junior Lacey Gibson (fifth, 17:58.19).

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Coach Matt Sparks said he was excited about the performance of his Salukis.

“The women’s meet was especially exciting for me because I don’t think we’ve had more than one or two girls break 18 minutes on our course,” Sparks said. “So to have five girls run under 18 minutes at the same time is a big step in the right direction.”

Senior Zach Dahleen finished the men’s 8K race in first place, capturing his first career win with a time of 25:03.82.

The men ran as a pack until the halfway point. As they reached the designated spot, Dahleen took off.

This was Dahleen’s first race since a track and field injury he suffered during the 2012 season. Dahleen said he was really happy with the turnout of his performance.

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