Feb. 7, 2011
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Dede Lofton took top honors in the 800-meter run at the SIU Invitational to lead the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville track and field teams over the weekend as the women finished seventh overall.
The Cougar men placed fifth of eight competing teams.
Lofton, a freshman from Detroit, Mich., claimed the first individual title for the SIUE women during the indoor season with her 2 minute, 18.33 second time.
"Dede focused on never giving up and was determined to push her body by staying positive and relaxed," said SIUE Head Coach Kareem Jackson.
"Emily and Renee competed well," said Assistant Coach Eileen McAllister. "Not only did they have PR's, they made a mental breakthrough by staying focused the entire race."
Hilary Conrad reached the finals of the 60-meter dash and finished eighth with a personal-best time of 8.11. Conrad later placed seventh in the 400 meters in a time of 59.31.
Junior Dana Fischer also earned team points for SIUE in the pole vault after finishing in a tie for fifth place clearing 9 feet, 7.25 inches.
"With the snow days this week making practice time scarce, the throwers focused on one event this weekend," said Assistant Coach Scott Block. "The women focused on the weight throw where two of the three throwers threw personal bests."
For the men, junior Marc Amarillas picked up team points in the 3,000-meter run with a fourth-place time of 8:56.25. Sophomore Campbell Walters was not far behind his teammate placing sixth in 9:11.83.
"Campbell continues to show more confidence and determination with every race," added Coach McAllister.
Senior Ben Bishop had one of the best weight throw series of his career. His top throw of 69-11.75 earned second place and eight team points for SIUE.
For the third consecutive week, Jamil Mashni recorded a personal best in the shot put. His throw of 50-6.75 placed him fifth in the event and scored two points for the Cougars.
"Jamil showed that although he is only a freshman, he can compete at a high level," added Coach Block. "His throw was the best turned in by a freshman from the Ohio Valley Conference this year."
The host Southern Illinois University Carbondale claimed both men's and women's team titles.
The Cougar men placed fifth of eight competing teams with 19 points while the women finished seventh with 29.5 points.
"I was really pleased with the team's effort," said Coach Jackson. "We are starting to see some people really step up in competitions and lead by example."
SIUE heads to Grand Valley State Feb. 11-12 for the GVSU Big Meet.