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Sycamore Women Sit Third/ Men Second at the Conclusion of Day Two at the Missouri Valley Conference

May 17, 2014

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Sycamores completed day two of the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Championships with the women in third and the men second.


The women inched a little closer to the lead, but still sit in third with 68.5 points. The Shockers of Wichita State lead with 88.5 points, Southern Illinois is second with 70. Northern Iowa trails the Sycamores in fourth with 44 points, Illinois State is fifth with 40 points, Bradley is sixth with 19 points, Loyola is seventh with 11 points and Missouri State is eighth with 10 points.


“We started off day two on a great note with our seniors finishing off the heptathlon in third and eighth place,” said Head Coach Angela Martin. “Long jump and shot put continued our great day, as we had three scorers in each event. We got some qualifiers into the finals for tomorrow so hopefully we can step up our game on the track.”


The men will have a steeper climb to overcome on day two, as they trail Wichita State by a score of 94 to 42.5 points. Southern Illinois is third with 39 points, Illinois State is fourth with 38 points, Drake is fifth with 35.5 points, Northern Iowa is sixth with 31 points, Bradley is seventh with 17 points and Loyola is eighth with 15 points.


“I think we qualified pretty well today,” said Head Coach John McNichols. “We had two in the 100, three in the 110 hurdles, one in the 400, two in the 800 and four in the 400 hurdles. From that stand point we did great, but we still could’ve had a few more qualifiers in some events. We did well in the shot put and long jump, so I think we put ourselves in position to do well tomorrow if we can get real serious and go compete.”


Senior Kelly Steffen started off the Sycamores scoring on day two with an all-conference performance in the heptathlon with a score of 5168 points to place third. Senior Rachael Johnson followed her closely in eighth with 4815 points.


Senior Mary Theisen earned the first conference champion honor of the weekend, as she claimed the shot put with a throw of 54 feet 8.75 inches. Sophomore Whitney Walker earned all-conference honors as well with her third place finish with a throw of 50 feet even. Freshman Dawnielle Passmore earned another point for the Sycamores with her eighth place performance.


Freshman long jumper Mandy Jones was literally as close to winning as she could’ve been without actually capturing the crown, as she tied Robiann Broomfield of Missouri State at 19 feet 8.75 inches in the long jump. Jones got second in the competition, however due to a tiebreaker. Juniors Kaisha Martin and Carmelia Stewart placed fifth (19 feet 3.5 inches) and sixth (19 feet 1.5 inches), respectively.


The Sycamores also had a great day in the high jump, as freshman LeVisa Evans soared over 5 feet 6 inches to earn a second place finish and all-conference honors. Senior Rachael Johnson placed fourth with a 5 feet 5 inch clearance and sophomore Ioanna Koltsidou placed seventh with a clearance of 5 feet 5 inches to complete a great day for the Sycamores in the field.


The Sycamore women also had several athletes advance to the finals including Stewart in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 13.69 seconds. Senior Shelby Higginbottom qualified in the 400 meter dash in a time of 55.18 seconds, as well as sophomore Chidera Obasih in a time of 56.63 seconds. In the 100 meter dash sophomore’s Katie Wise and Demetra Camble advanced to the final with the first (11.38) and third (11.88) fastest times, respectively. Wise ran a facility record with her effort. Freshman Alethia Marrero qualified for the 400 meter hurdle finals after running 1:00.59 seconds in the prelim.


The men saw sophomore Brett Wehmiller start off the day with a sixth place finish in the decathlon with a score of 6068 points. Senior Chris Fields followed that with a fourth place showing in the shot put with a throw of 56 feet 5.25 inches and sophomore Sean Dennis took sixth with a throw of 51 feet 10.5 inches. Sophomore DeSean Prentice had a great day in the high jump, as he cleared 6 feet 9.75 inches to place fourth in the event. Freshman Devyn Mikell finished the day with a fifth place showing in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet 6 inches.


The men also advanced several athletes into the finals including senior Greggmar Swift and sophomore Adarius Washington, who dominated the 110 meter hurdle prelim with the first (13.77) and second (13.85) fastest times, respectively. Freshman Daley Carter had the seventh fastest time in 14.43 seconds to also advance. Senior Kevin Piraino blazed the fastest time in the 400 meter dash prelim, as he crossed the line in 47.79 seconds. A pair of freshman made their way through the 100 meter dash prelim, as Jaynard Keys had the fifth fastest time in 10.89 seconds and Carl McQuay was seventh in 10.92 seconds.


Another freshman duo of David Timlin and Tony Rigoni advanced through the 800 meter run prelims with Timlin having the fastest qualifier at 1:51.71 and Rigoni the seventh qualifier at 1:52.78. The men’s 400 meter hurdle crew had the most impressive qualifications of the group, as four Sycamores will compete in the final tomorrow. They were led by senior Max Tuttle who ran 51.63 seconds to run the fastest time, while junior Jonathan Jackson ran 51.82 for second. Junior Arqeil Shaw and senior Ray Skamay ran the fifth (52.75) and eighth time (53.80), respectively.


The final day of competition will begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) with the women’s triple jump.

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