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Cougars Collect Five Wins at John Craft Invite

(Left) Matt O'Connor, (Right) Nichyria Byrd, Courtesy of Tom Skelly
(Left) Matt O'Connor, (Right) Nichyria Byrd, Courtesy of Tom Skelly


CHARLESTON, Ill. – The SIUE track and field team wrapped up the EIU John Craft Invite Friday night. Five Cougars earned wins including Nichyria Byrd, Austin Lynch, Matt O'Connor, Jalea Paslay and Ethan Poston. SIUE also picked up several personal records on the day.

The meet took place at the Lantz Fieldhouse on the campus of Eastern Illinois, with the meet getting moved up a day from Saturday because of inclement weather concerns. Chicago State, Maryville, McKendree, Southern Indiana and Ohio Valley Conference foes Eastern Illinois and UT Martin all competing in the Invite.

"The team looked outstanding tonight," SIUE Track and Field Head Coach Scott Block said. "Coming back from holiday break and only having four days to prepare for today's meet, walking away with several big PR's is all I could ask for."

The SIUE throwing team had a great deal of success Friday. Lynch won the men's weight throw for the Cougars with a PR mark of 66 feet, seven inches. Taking second in the men's weight throw was SIUE's John Barnes (61-0). Catherine Jakich (53-01) and Rachyl Anderson (44-02.75) both hit PRs for SIUE in the women's weight throw.

Ben Scamihorn ran a 10 second PR in the men's 3k with a PR time of 8:38.96, placing him seventh all-time for SIUE. O'Connor (1:54.87) and Joseph Stone (1:57.36) finish one and two respectively for the Cougars in the men's 800m. O'Connor took second in the 800m at the 2017 Indoor OVC Championships.

Paslay won the women's 800m with an indoor PR time of 2:22.28. Aly Goff placed first among attached runners, second overall, in the women's one mile (5:11.33)

In the jumping events, SIUE's Poston won the men's high jump (6-08) and Byrd took first in the women's triple jump (38-03.50).

The Cougars will be back in action Jan. 26 when they travel to Champaign, Illinois, to compete in the Illini Classic.

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