SIUE thinclads three school records in meets

News-DemocratMay 13, 2014 

— Southern Illinois University Edwardsville track and field sent competitors to two different sites last weekend and came back with three new school records.

Belleville West graduate Jessica Oranika, Claire Brown, and Braxton Klavins each broke school records Saturday.

SIUE head coach Eileen McAllister said the Cougars will have to see if their marks hold up for the NCAA West Preliminaries in Fayetteville, Ark. The top 48 in each event per region advance to the preliminary meet.

The complete field is expected to be announced May 22.

"We have a few more people solidified and a few more on the borderline," said McAllister.

Brown won the 3,000m steeplechase at the North Central Dr. Keeler Invite in a time of 10:37.57, breaking her own record she set at the OVC Championships.

"She led from start to finish and looked fantastic," said McAllister. "Hopefully she gets into the first round because I know she can run faster."

Klavins was a double winner at the Wisconsin Open in the 100 (10.58) and the 200 (21.13).

Oranika won the 400 at the Wisconsin Open with a time of 54.06.

"That should solidify Jessica's spot for the first round but we'll have to wait and see," McAllister said.

Jamil Mashni turned in a personal best in the discus with a throw of 173 feet. He finished fourth overall.

Jatavia Wright was the champion in the long jump, leaping 18-1.5. LaDonna Caston was the 100m hurdles champion with a photo finish win over Deanna Latham (Wisconsin-Unattached). Her winning time was 13.63.

Jasmin Johnson was the winner at the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:02.15.

Conference meet

SIUE claimed several Ohio Valley Conference individual titles as well as a relay title in the the 2014 Outdoor Championships.

SIUE's list of winners included Cahokia graduate La'Derrick Ward, Edwardsville graduate Julian Harvey, Elizabeth Hampl, Klavins, Wright. The men's 4x400m relay team also ran for gold by besting Tennessee State by less than a second.

SIUE, playing host to the OVC Outdoor Championships for the first time in school history, made a strong showing at Korte Stadium in the team competition. The Cougar men placed third of seven teams overall with 116 points while the SIUE women finished sixth of 11 teams with 74 points.

Ward, a junior currently ranked first nationally in the men's long jump, took home his first career OVC outdoor title with a mark of 25-4.5. It was the reigning All-American's second time being named a conference champion this season after he won the OVC indoor title in the triple jump earlier this season.

Harvey, a freshman from Edwardsville, earned the right to be called a conference champion in his first season at the collegiate level. He won the men's high jump competition with a leap of 6-9.75.

Hampl's win in the hammer throw was an OVC-record throw of 200 feet (60.97m) as well as a new record for the Cougars.

Klavins was a double winner in the 200 and the 400. He and teammate Ahmad Evans went 1-2 in the 200 with Klavins winning by 0.22 seconds in 21.18.

Klavins took the 400 in 46.43 with Evans adding a fourth-place finish for the Cougars.

Wright won the triple jump for the second straight season and leaped even farther in her victory this season. Her leap of 41-10.75 was a school record.

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