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SIUE's Harvey Sets Bar Even Higher

SIUE's Julian Harvey

CHARLESTON, Ill. – SIUE jumper Julian Harvey broke two long-standing Ohio Valley Conference records Friday at day one of the OVC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Harvey won the long jump at Lantz Fieldhouse with a leap of 26 feet, 9 inches (8.17m). The jump also is the longest by an American and No. 1 in the world, according to His jump also broke the previous mark of 8.09m set by Middle Tennessee State's Greg Artis in 1981.

He followed that performance by winning the high jump with a school record mark of 7-3 (2.21m), eclipsing the OVC mark set by Eastern Kentucky's Ken Glover (2.20m) in 1982.

"The conference championship is where we expect our best performances, and he rose to the occasion," said SIUE jumps coach Joey Pacione. "We talked a lot the past two weeks about how to execute and what to expect from the competition so he was ready. It's true credit to him for going out and jumping so well. He is tops in the world in the long jump and now seventh in the NCAA in the high jump."

SIUE's Nick Matthews joined Harvey as champion on day one with his winning throw of 61-2.25 (18.64m).

"What a truly outstanding day," said SIUE Head Coach Scott Block. "The momentum we had today was electric, and the Cougars rose to the occasion with Julian and Nick setting the standard early in the day."

As a team, the SIUE men lead the OVC with 45 points followed by Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky with 43. On the women's side, SIUE is tied for fifth with 18 points.

SIUE thrower Megan Lauzon placed third in the weight throw on the women's side with a season best 57-5.25 (17.50).

Deborrah Blackburn also placed third in the high jump with a leap of 5-5.75, also a personal best.

"Megan and Deborrah both had excellent performances and both got on the podium even though they were ranked outside the podium," said Block.

Other items of note from day one of the OVC Indoor Championships:

  • Matthew O'Connor qualified for Saturday's finals in the 800 with the seventh fastest time.
  • Keith Meyer placed second in the 5,000 in 14:21.64
  • Bobby Kaluza qualified for Saturday's final in the 60 hurdles with the sixth-fastest time
  • Nichyria Byrd placed seventh in the long jump with a mark of 19-1.25 (5.72m)
  • Lizzie Virgl took fifth in the weight throw at 55-6.75 (16.93m)

"I am looking forward to tomorrow and continuing this momentum," added Block.

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