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SIUE Track and Field Kicks Off 2016 at Missouri Invite

Ben Scamihorn
Ben Scamihorn

Live Stats 

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's and women's track and field resumes its season with the 30th running of the Missouri Invite Friday.

The team returns from winter break with one meet under its belt, the Eastern Illinois Early Bird in December.

"The holiday break is important," said Interim Head Coach Scott Block. "It gives the student-athletes an opportunity to spend some time with friends and family and recharge their battery before we start a long season. Our student-athletes are a highly self-motivated group, and I believe that they did the work to come back in the same or even better shape than when we last saw them."

The Missouri Invite is a one-day meet that is close to home for the Cougars.

"The short meets are great," said Block. "It does not take the student-athletes away from their studies for too long. It allows them to sleep in their own beds and keep up with their normal routine."

Block said he is looking forward to seeing how the newcomers continue to improve, including freshman Nichyria Byrd who finished her first meet as a Cougar with a first-place finish in the triple jump.

Several returners look to continue a solid start to the indoor season. Jessica Oranika (600 meters), Ben Scamihorn (mile), Keith Meyer (3000 meters), Bobby Kaluza (60-meter hurdles) and Mladen Hristov (triple jump) all recorded first-place finishes at the EIU Early Bird.

"We expect them to continue to build on their performances," Block said of the returners. "They have been here before, and we expect their performances to reflect that fact."