Cougars start track and field season on the right foot
The indoor track and field season is underway for the men’s and women’s teams at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The seasons began Dec. 8 at the SIUE/SEMO Dual Invite. The men’s and women’s teams started the season on the right foot, taking the combined title at the meet. In a press release, head coach Scott Block said he was excited the team started the season off with such a strong performance.
"We had a great meet today, winning for the first time in six years," Block said. "I am excited for the team and coaching staff and we look forward to the rest of the season."
The meet opened up with the throwing events, and a couple of Cougars on the men's team turned in strong performances. Austin Lynch set a personal best in the weight toss with a throw of 15.91 meters. Martinus Mitchell also set a personal record with a throw of 16.66 meters in the shot put. Mitchell took first place in the shot put, and Lynch finished in fourth place in the weight toss. Block said he was happy to see the hard work that Mitchell has been putting in, pay off.
"He has been working hard to make his senior year special, and he is setting himself up for success,” Block said.
The women’s team also had strong performances from its throwers. Claire Nolan saved her best throw for last, and it paid off. Her throw of 16.04 to take first place in the weight throw. Block said it was good to see Nolan set a personal record during her senior season.
Several Cougars also performed well in the jumping events. Freshman DeVonte Tincher set a personal record and took home first place in the triple jump with a distance of 13.08 meters. He also claimed a first-place finish in the long jump, hitting a mark of 7.07 meters in the finals. The women’s team also claimed victories in the triple and long jump, with Brittney Gibbs turning in a winning jump of 12.12 meters in the triple jump and Nichyria Byrd winning the long jump with a mark of 5.83 meters. SIUE’s Ivory Cassell took second in the long jump with a distance of 5.44 meters.
In the track portion of the competition, SIUE continued to perform well. Nylo Clarke claimed first place in the 400 meter with a time of 22.82 seconds. The Cougars' 4x100 relay team also finished in first with a time of 3:31.21. Bobby Kaluza won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.83 seconds, and Landon Skelly won the 3,000-meter run, finishing with a time of 8:58.30.
Haley Miller won the women’s mile run with a time of 5:23.54, and Jalea Paslay set a personal record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:27.38.
The Cougars will return to the track Jan. 13 when the men’s and women’s team take part in the Illini Classic.
For more information about the SIUE track teams, visit www.siuecougars.com.