TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Southern Illinois University men and women's track and field programs had their first indoor road meet on Saturday at the John Gartland Invitational.
The women were able to finish in first place with a total score of 169.5, while the men finished in fourth. In total, the Salukis were able to win 7 individual events and had a total of 17 on the podium.
"I thought today went really well," said Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Rosalind Joseph. "We didn't have the typical Fast Start in December, so this was the first meet for a lot of our team since May! It was nice to see them get out there and compete. I think the elder teammates came out ready to pick up where they left off last season, which is good. And I think the newcomers got to see the expectation of teammates and coaches and just how to maneuver at a track meet. I think we all saw a lot of what we needed to see today."
On the men's side, senior Omar Rodgers kicked off the action with a first place finish in the 60 m hurdles. Rodgers time of 8.14 seconds was a personal best for him in the 60 m hurdle event. Later in the afternoon, senior Corey Sherrod finished in second in the 200 m dash running at a time of 22.72. Sherrod edged out teammate Ja'den Johnson who ran 22.93, which was good for the third spot on the podium.
The Saluki women shined in their first full action of the indoor season. Continuing her success from the cross country season, senior Kayla Schiera was the first to place for the women by finishing atop in the women's 1 mile (4:59.05). Claire Ayers finished right behind her teammate to secure second place for the dawgs (5:06.82). Sophomore Iaunia Pointer had a big day for the Salukis. Pointer won the 60 m dash (7.54) and the 200 m dash (24.32). Both times set a John Gartland Invitational record and a facility record as well (ISU North Gym).
Miracle Berry tacked on another win with her first place finish in the women's 400 m dash (58.72). DeA'yvion Smith, Akira Custer, Jhordin Galmore, and Savannah Long took home the top spot in the 4x400m relay (3:56.46).
A'Veun Moore-Jones took home first in the women's shot put with a mark of 53'6.50." Bri'Yanna Robinson (51'0.25") and Kayleigh Conlon (49'9.25") came in second and third to complete the podium sweep.
"The women are just a poised group. Even though we lost a lot of seniors last year, we also had some that have come back for this extra season.
"Because of that we have some maturity and leadership that allowed them to really elevate today," said Joseph.
The final results are available at https://bit.ly/3GMb4tM.
The Salukis will be back on the track on Jan. 29 when they compete in a split meet at Louisville and Indiana.