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O’Connor Sets School Record at Don DeNoon Invitational

Matt O'Connor, Lizzie Virgl
Matt O'Connor, Lizzie Virgl

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The SIUE track and field teams found success at the Don DeNoon Invitational in Carbondale, Illinois, Friday and Saturday behind Matt O'Connor's 1000m record setting performance.

The meet started with the multi and field events Friday.

Nick Matthews placed seventh (59 feet, 4 inches) in the men's weight throw, while John Barnes finished tenth (54-9.25). Austin Lynch threw a personal record in the weight throw (54-8.75), placing him eleventh. Martinus Mitchell finished tenth in the shot put (49-5.5).

In the women's throwing events, Lizzie Virgl placed eleventh in the weight throw (50-8.75) and Claire Nolan threw her way to a sixth place finish in the shot put (44-11).

Justin White (6-1.25) and Logan Webb (6-1.25) finished eleventh and thirteenth respectively in the men's high jump. Webb (21-2.75) and White (21-0) placed seventh and eighth respectively in the long jump. DeVonte Tincher leapt to a fourth place finish in the triple jump (43-7.75).  

In the women's jumping events, Nichyria Byrd took first in the long jump (18-11.25). Debborah Blackburn finished sixth in the high jump (5-1) and Brittney Gibbs placed fourth in the triple jump (38-4).

"There were a lot of learning moments for our jumpers this weekend," Assistant Coach Joey Pacione said. "I expect that group to bounce back as we start to peak out training."

The Cougars distance teams ran four PR's Saturday.

The men's PR's include Liam O'Connell (4:29.83) in the mile and O'Connor (2:30.05) in the 1000m. O'Connor's time beats the 1000m school record held by Richard Skirball (2004).

On the women's side, Aly Goff ran a PR in the mile (5:04.71). Goff's time is the fifth fastest in SIUE indoor history. Allie Sweatt set a PR in the mile as well (5:13.42).

The SIUE sprinters had a successful meet behind Nylo Clarke, who placed third in the men's 400m with a time of 49.53. That time ranks as the second fastest in the Ohio Valley Conference this year. DeVonte Tincher ran a season best time of 22.74 in the 200m.

The SIUE men's 4x400m team (Collin Brown, Clarke, O'Connor and Kevin Campell) placed third with a time of 3:23.64. That time is second best in the OVC this season.

Lacresha Linton ran a season best time (8.19) in the women's 60m. Goff (2:18.48) and Jalea Paslay both ran PR's in the 800m.

"This was the breakout weekend we'd been hoping for, for our sprinters," Pacione added. "I'm stoked for those runners to be competing at such a high level."

The Cougars will be back in action Feb. 9 & 10 at the Marshall Invite in Huntington, West Virginia.