The SIU track and field team competed in the Eastern Illinois University Friday Night Special, where they captured several top-five finishes. The meet was not scored but individual marks were taken.
The meet was held on EIU’s campus at the Lantz Indoor Fieldhouse and included the University of Illinois, Arkansas State University, Butler University and host Eastern Illinois University. The meet was the team’s final competition before heading to the Missouri Valley Championships and provided stiff competition for the Salukis.
Heading into the week, the women’s team moved up one spot in the national rankings to No. 10, but many of the Salukis’ top runners did not compete in the meet Friday. The women were still able to capture several top five finishes, led by junior thrower Kim Fortney. Fortney finished second in the weight throw with a distance of 64-04.50 and third in the shot put with a distance of 51-07.75. Freshman thrower DeAnna Price also earned a third-place finish, in the weight throw, and fifth in the shot put with distances of 62-02.25 and 46-01.25, respectively.
Senior jumper Nina Okafor finished third in the women’s long jump with a jump of 17-08.75 and placed second in the triple jump with a jump of 37.05.25. Freshman Rylie Bruce placed fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 35-05.75. Freshman Evelyn Scott finished second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.73 and freshman Nirupama Sunderraj finished fourth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.29.
The men had one event winner Friday with senior J.C. Lambert’s first-place shot put of 58-02.00. Sophomore Brian Cooper followed in second place with a distance of 55-02.25, and senior Collin Otto was the top Saluki finisher in the weight throw with a third-place finish of 66-05.00. Freshman Bradley Sauer placed fifth with a throw of 64-00.50.
The top runners on the men’s side were freshman Blake Green and junior Jeremy Bankston, who competed in the 400-meter dash and placed fourth and fifth with times of 51.12 and 51.24, respectively.