In the Cougars’ third meet of the indoor track and field season, the men’s team placed third, while the women’s team ended the weekend with a sixth-place finish.
Seniors Landon Skelly and Austin Lynch led the men’s team, with Skelly placing first in the 800-meter and Lynch finishing first in the shot put. Both Skelly and Lynch came close to their personal records. Skelly’s time of 2:00.08 was within five seconds of his best outdoor time.
Meanwhile, Lynch’s shot put throw of 14.90 meters was within one meter of his personal record. Lynch said he felt good about the throw moving forward in the season.
“I just felt relaxed during the shot put,” Lynch said. “It was a really good confidence booster moving into the Illinois meet next week.”
Several Cougars finished on the podium for the men’s weight throw, with senior Nick Matthews, Lynch and junior John Barnes coming in second, third and fourth, respectively.
The men’s team also had top finishes in jumps. Sophomore Conor McCarthy placed third in the long jump, followed closely by senior Logan Webb in fifth place. Sophomore Ethan Poston finished fourth in the high jump.
On the women’s side, senior Jalea Paslay and sophomore Jaylyn Scales placed fourth and sixth in the 600-meter. Scales said she was proud of her time, 1:44.59, because the 600 is not one of her usual races.
“Running the 600-meter was an adjustment because I usually run the 800 and 400,” Scales said. “But I feel like I ran a decent time that would convert well into either of those races.”
The women’s 4x400-meter relay also earned points for SIUE, finishing fifth with a time of 4:21.38.
The women had three top 10 finishers in the shot put. Senior Michaela Smith placed sixth with a throw of 12.29 meters, sophomore Rachyl Anderson finished ninth with a throw of 11.53 meters, and freshman Jamirah Meeks placed tenth with a throw of 11.15 meters.
Anderson also finished in the top 10 in the weight throw, placing eighth with a throw of 14.64 meters. She trailed sophomore Alexis Hutchins, who finished fifth with a throw of 16.31 meters.
Doug McDannald, assistant coach for sprints and jumps, said he was happy with the Cougars’ team and individual performances, and the progress he has seen so far this season.
"Overall, I'm satisfied with the team's performance,” McDannald said. “Most athletes performed as well as I was hoping, and several did better. I'm very happy with the team's progress, and every week they're getting better and better.”
McDannald also said he thinks many of the team’s athletes will have a good chance to perform well at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships this year.
“There's a number of athletes with a chance to medal at conference this year,” McDannald said. “Several team members have surpassed their outdoor marks from last year and will have some big opportunities at OVCs."
Track and Field’s next meet is on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Illini Invitational in Champaign, Illinois.