In a meet that includes several top schools, the SIU track and field team will compete in the Iowa State Cyclone Classic, a competition that began Thursday and continues through Saturday.
The meet features a field of more than 50 teams. The SIU women’s team entered the meet ranked 11th in the nation, up from 16th last week.
The only other ranked school competing on the women’s side is host Iowa State, which is ranked 14th.
For the SIU men’s track and field team, the competition consists of multiple top-25 ranked schools. The highest-ranked team in the field is the University of Minnesota at 10th. Fellow Big Ten schools University of Nebraska and University of
Wisconsin are ranked 13th and 17th respectively. Kansas State University also brought a nationally ranked team into the meet at 16th, and University of Iowa rounds out the nationally ranked field at 20th.
The competition features several stand out performers who have set NCAA records throughout the indoor season. In the men’s 400-meter, Nebraska freshman Ricco Hall ranks ninth this season with a time of 46.93. Nebraska freshman Patrick Raedler ranks 20th in the triple jump with a 15.52 jump. In the pole vault division, University of Northern Iowa junior Daniel Gooris ranks 17th with a 17-4 ½ vault.
Senior thrower J.C. Lambert is nationally ranked in the weight throw for the Salukis. He ranks third with a throw of 74-4.25 from the Jan. 13 Saluki Open. His closest competition could be Iowa senior Matt Banse, who recorded a 66-10.75 throw during the Feb. 3 meet.
The Saluki women are set to face stiff competition as well. Kansas State senior Boglarka Bozzay ranks 12th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:06.00. The women’s one-mile field is stacked with nationally ranked competition; Nebraska senior Ashley Miller has a time of 4:39.11, which puts her 20th in the NCAA. Iowa senior McKenzie Melander will compete in the field as well after posting a 4:39.78 in March of 2011.
Iowa State brings two nationally ranked runners into the 5,000-meter event. Senior Betsy Saina posted the second-best time in the nation last February with a 15:50.74 time. Cyclone junior Dani Stack’s time of 16:12.08 ranks her 21st in the nation.
SIU senior Malaikah Love is the highest-ranked competitor in the long jump and the triple jump. She said she looks to continue her dominance after a strong performance in the Saluki Invitational.
Thrower Jeneva McCall is currently the highest-ranked weight thrower with her throw of 77-11.05. She is also the highest-ranked shot putter in the field, with Iowa State freshman Christina Hillman being McCall’s closest competition.