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SIUE Track and Field Hosts the Southern Clash

SIUE Track and Field Hosts the Southern Clash

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's and women's track and field will host the inaugural Southern Clash dual meet Friday at Korte Stadium against SIU Carbondale.

The meet begins at 5:30 p.m. with the throwing events and continues with running events at 7 p.m. Eddie the Cougar will race Carbondale's saluki in a 50-meter sprint to kick off the running events.

"We have been trying to have a dual meet for years," said SIUE Interim Head Coach Scott Block. "When SIU Carbondale approached us, we jumped at the opportunity. The dual meet is special because it puts two teams head-to-head and the team that has the best day will win."

At their last home meet, the Cougars recorded 29 personal bests and look to add to that total in their last home meet of the year.

"The goal of this meet is the same as any other meet, to have as many personal records as we can," said Block. "This meet also serves to sharpen the competitive edge that we work on throughout the season. With the OVC Championships coming up, learning how to compete is extremely important." 

Both SIUE squads will honor the 10 seniors who will be competing in their last home event. Below is a list of the seniors and their accomplishments.

Greg Block
Highlights: 2015 OVC Outdoor Champion in the hammer throw… No. 2 all-time in the hammer throw
Coach Block on Greg: Greg is a natural leader and a hard worker. His performances speak for themselves and he will be missed.

Haley Briggs
Highlights: Set personal best of 5:05.96 in the 1500 during the 2015 outdoor season… has competed in five different distance events in her career
Coach Block on Haley: Haley has been a team captain for two years and has done a lot to bring the team together. Her positive attitude will be missed.

LaDonna Caston
Highlights: SIUE record-holder in the 100-meter hurdles… two-time NCAA West Preliminaries qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles… 2015 OVC Indoor Champion in the 60 meters
Coach Block on LaDonna: LaDonna has lead the hurdles the past four years. Her performances have been outstanding and her leadership will be missed.

Derek Drew
Highlights: 2014 OVC Outdoor Champion as a part of the 4x400 meter relay team
Coach Block on Derek: Derek has had a big impact on the program. His ability to stay positive is inspirational. His talents and heart will be missed.

Kirby Hale
Highlights: Competed in six distance events across her career… set personal best of 2:13.93 in the 800 at the 2014 Outdoor OVC Championships
Coach Block on Kirby: Kirby has grown exponentially since her arrival at SIUE. Athletically and academically, she has reached heights that have impressed everyone. Her humor and attitude will be missed. 

Conradette King
Highlights: Competed in seven distance events across her career… finished 21st at the 2015 OVC Outdoor Championships in both the 1500 meters and the 5K
Coach Block on Conradette: Conradette has been an important player in the success of SIUE cross country and track. She has always been willing to do whatever it took to improve herself and her teammates.

Jessica Oranika
Highlights: 2015 NCAA West Preliminaries qualifier in both the 200 and the 400, placing 31st and 27th, respectively
Coach Block on Jessica: Jessica is an outstanding talent that will be missed. She has grown as a person and I know she will be successful in whatever she does.

Luke Padesky
Highlights: Set personal bests in the 2016 Outdoor season in the 1500 and 5K… No. 3 all-time at SIUE in the 3K
Coach Block on Luke: Luke has improved every season he has been here. He is outgoing and his future is bright.

Francesca Sikorski
Highlights: Competed in three middle-distance events across her career… set a personal best in the 800 at 2:18.00 which leads the women's team for the 2016 season
Coach Block on Francesca: Franki has been a vital part of our program. Her academic/athletic balance is a model that you wish all athletes had. 

Darius Smith
Highlights: 2015 NCAA West Preliminaries qualifier in the 200… SIUE 60-meter indoor record-holder… 2013 NCAA West Preliminaries qualifier in the 200, 2013 OVC Outdoor Champion in the 100
Coach Block: Darius is one of the best sprinters that has ever walked onto campus. His contributions have been big and he will be missed.