Track and Field Adds 10 Signees

July 8, 2010

EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. - The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville track and field coaching staff have been busy of late strengthening the team with a number of additions.

SIUE Track and Field Head Coach Kareem Jackson and Cross Country Head Coach Eileen McAllister have announced the signings of Jawon Smith (Lombard), Josh Thomas (Galesburg), Titus Hughes (Springfield), Jade Ackerman (Rantoul), Thayer Harrison (Springfield), Shanikka Vance (University Park), Lacey Hainline (Milan), Hannah Lee (Jacksonville), Megan Petty (Diamond), and J.D. Wynn (Peoria).

Smith comes to SIUE after two outstanding seasons at Illinois College. He set a personal best of 1 minute, 53.95 seconds at 800 meters in a meet held at Western Illinois.

"Jawon will add experience and depth to the middle distance group for the Cougars. We expect Jawon to add an immediate impact to our program," said Jackson.

Thomas placed third this season at the state championships in the 300-meter hurdles for Galesburg High School. One of the top 400-meter runners in the state, Thomas has been focusing his efforts on the hurdle events.

"The hurdle group for SIUE should be outstanding and one to watch for years to come. We have had some of the top hurdlers in the state commit to SIUE," said Jackson.

Hughes will be competing in the jumps for the Cougars and will be specializing in the high jump. He was a state qualifier for Springfield High School with a personal best jump of 6-6.

"We are looking to put all the pieces together to make a competitive program in the Ohio Valley Conference. Signing Titus just takes us another step closer," Jackson said.

Ackerman is expected to make an immediate impact in the men's sprint group. He ran a personal best 21.83 at 200 meters and 10.82 at 100 meters at St. Thomas Moore High School in Champaign. He was a 2010 finalist in both sprint events at the state championships, placing third at 100 meters and eighth at 200 meters.

"He is extremely determined to be a standout sprinter for our program. I think with hard work and sacrifice, he will do just that," noted Jackson.

Harrison adds to SIUE depth in the jumping events. He was a standout in the long jump and triple jump at Springfield Southeast High School.

"He is an accomplished student-athlete and has been competing in the summer months at the AAU and junior national level," Jackson said.

Vance, of Crete Monee High School, will be competing for the Cougars in the horizontal jumps. She is a multiple time state qualifier and has a personal best of 37-0.5 in the triple jump and 18-6 in the long jump.

"Shanikka is a tremendous competitor and will bring that passion to practice and competitions with her next season. We look forward to adding her to our jumps group and our women's program," said Jackson.

Lacey Hainline was a part of Sherrard High School's state championship team in 2007. She has been competing at a high level ever since. Hainline placed seventh in the 100-meter dash, fourth in the 400-meter dash, third in the 400-meter relay, and second in the 200-meter dash at this year's state championships.

"She is very talented athlete and one who will be able to compete in a lot of different events for the cougars. We are pleased to have her in our program and look forward to her adding depth and experience to our women's sprint group," Jackson said.

Lee placed 46th at the 2A state cross country meet for Jacksonville High School. A dual-sport athlete in cross country and soccer, she was an All-Conference and All-Sectional player in both sports.

Petty was a three-time state qualifier in track and field at Coal City High School. She will be competing for the Cougars in the distance events.

Wynn placed 11th at the boy's state AA meet for Peoria Notre Dame High School. A two-time state cross country qualifier, he was Peoria Notre Dame's top runner as it finished fourth at the cross country state championships. He also earned All-Conference and All-Regional honors.

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