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SIUE Track and Field Records Big Days at Big Meet

Erin Kennedy
Erin Kennedy

ALLENDALE, Mich. – SIUE men's and women's track and field records 29 personal bests from 21 individuals during the GVSU Big Meet Friday and Saturday.

The distance team for both the men's and the women's team accounted for 16 of those personal bests from 12 student-athletes. Matt O'Connor led the team off Friday with a career best in the 800 meters, running the race in 1 minute, 52.76 seconds. This time places him No. 2 all-time in SIUE history, narrowly missing the record.

"The effort on the track was phenomenal this weekend," said Distance Coach Kayla Brown. "Every performance made a statement and was run with a can-do attitude."

Keith Meyer had a big weekend for the Cougars, winning the 3000 meters in a time of 8:39.96 and climbing to No. 3 all-time at SIUE.

Erin Kennedy recorded two personal bests, including her time of 18:05.55 in the 5000 meters, which places her No. 3 all-time at SIUE. She also ran a personal best of 10:27.45 in the 3000 meters.

"Erin continues to go after it, running the third-best mark at SIUE and coming back to PR in the 3K as well," said Brown.

Haley Miller and Conradette King both set personal bests in the 3000 meters and the mile. Miller ran the 3K in 10:21.09 while King finished in 10:49.53. Miller finished the mile in 5:16.21 and King completed the race in 5:18.51.

Allie Sweatt ran a personal best of 10:34.99 in the 3K, and Rachel Althage rounded out the women's distance team with a personal best of 2:24.93 in the 800 meters.

Anthony Holshouser recorded two personal bests for the men's distance team, running 15:29.31 in the 5K and 8:59.05 in the 3K. All five Cougars running the 3K set a personal best, including Meyer, Luke Padesky (8:35.34, 4th), Scott Woodard (8:43.53, 12th), and Tyler Owens (8:58.91, 18th).

"The 3K runners deserve a huge shout out," said Brown. "Every single one of them fought to the very end, and it was exciting to watch."

Ben Scamihorn completed the big weekend for the distance teams with a personal best in the mile, recording a time of 4:20.10.

"Proud is not a strong enough word for how I feel about their performances," said Brown. "Every single person ran with purpose and heart, and it paid off for them."

Aleasha Jones ran a personal best in the 400, 56.63, to win her heat. Jessica Oranika ran her best 400 time of the weekend, finishing third with a time of 55.68.

LaDonna Caston had two strong performances on the weekend, winning the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.60. She also placed fifth in the 60-meter dash, running the race in 7.81.

Justin Agustin (23.10), Darius Smith (21.67), and Derek Drew (22.10) all recorded new personal bests in the 200. Smith's time placed him second overall while Drew won his heat.

Smith also placed third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.81.

Drew also won his heat in the 400 with a personal best of 48.10, while Agustin set a personal best in the 400 as well, running the lap in 50.30.

Drew and Jessy Glaub both ran career bests in the 600 meters. Drew completed the race in 1:21.22, while Glaub finished just behind him at 1:21.30.

In the field events, Claire Nolan won the women's shot put, tying her personal best of 46 feet, 8 inches.

Jacqueline Landuyt threw a career best of 47-9 in the weight throw.

The Cougars take a break next weekend before competing in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships Feb. 26-27 in Nashville, Tenn.