NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE men's track junior Julian Harvey earned a trip to the NCAA Championship in the long jump with a personal best of 25 feet, 10.75 inches, winning the Ohio Valley Conference title.
Harvey's mark is currently sixth in the NCAA, ninth in the country, and 26th in the world. The jump is also a new SIUE record, breaking the record set by La'Derrick Ward a season ago. He added 11 inches to his former best mark and shattered the previous record by six inches.
Harvey also placed second in the high jump with a mark of 6-8.25.
"I'm very proud of how Julian competed today," said Jumps Coach Joey Pacione. "To come back from disappointment in the high jump and compose himself for the long jump showed his maturity."
After one day of competition, the SIUE men's track and field team is in first place with 41 points.
Nick Matthews earned a second-place finish in the weight throw after being seeded fourth. He threw a mark of 56-1.
Keith Meyer also took second in the 5K after being seeded fourth. He ran the race in 14 minutes, 53.47 seconds.
"The men got it started and they outperformed where they were ranked on paper," said SIUE Interim Head Coach Scott Block. "They have a lot of momentum that will carry through until tomorrow. They came to compete today."
After day one, the SIUE women's track and field team sits in seventh with 19 points.
Megan Lauzon placed second in the weight throw with a personal best of 56-11, performing above her fourth seed.
"Three throwers had huge PRs and they really stepped up and competed well," said Block.
Freshman Nichyria Byrd earned a third-place finish in the long jump with a jump of 18-9.5.
Both teams continue day two of the OVC Championships Saturday at 11 a.m.