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Cougars Shine at Billiken Invitational

Lizzie Virgl
Lizzie Virgl

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – Despite the frigid temperatures, the SIUE track and field teams had a successful weekend at the Billiken Invitational behind multiple strong performances.

"This was one of the chilliest meets that we have had in some years," said SIUE Head Coach Scott Block. "With that being said, the team adjusted to the conditions and performed very well. I want to thank all of the fans that came out to support the team."

SIUE freshmen DeVonte Tincher turned in a solid performance at the invitational. Tincher placed first (6.59 meters) in the men's long jump while also setting a lifetime personal record (21.64 seconds) in the 200m.

"DeVonte has worked very hard overhauling his sprinting mechanics this year, and he's starting to see it pay off," SIUE Assistant Coach Joey Pacione added.

Julian Harvey took first in the men's high jump with a leap of 2.08 meters. Justin White placed third (1.93) in the high jump for the Cougars, setting his all-time PR.

Even with Harvey placing first, Pacione believes he still has room to improve with his high jump.

"Julian and I still have things to work on with his high jump approach to allow him to jump at PR heights," Pacione said. "today was unsatisfying and the next few weeks will be pivotal."

Reigning Ohio Valley Conference heptathlon champion Lauren White had a big weekend for herself in multiple events. White placed second in the high jump (1.55) and in the javelin (37.54), third in the 110m hurdles (15.23) and seventh in the shot put (11.19).

"Lauren was awesome in the throws this weekend," added Pacione. "In hurdles and high jump there is still a lot to shore up, but she's showing glimpses of her potential."

In the women's high jump, Deborrah Blackburn won the event with a mark of 1.60 meters.

The SIUE throwing teams had themselves an impressive meet. Lizzie Virgl won the women's hammer throw (52.90) and placed second in the discus (39.86). Martinus Mitchell took first in the men's discus (49.59) and finished second in the shot put (15.60).

In the women's 1500m, Haley Miller placed fifth (4.54.57), Allie Sweatt seventh (5:01.49), Kassidy Dexheimer ninth (5:04.55) and Jess Clarke eleventh (5:06.58). Landon Skelly finished fourth (4:01.21) for the Cougars in the men's 1500m.

In the men's 800m, Kevin Campbell placed third with a time of 1:53.87.

The Cougars will travel to Normal, Illinois, next weekend to take part in the Redbird Invite.