Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men’s and women’s track and field will host the SIUE Gateway Invite at Korte Stadium on Saturday.
The meet begins at 2 p.m. with the men’s and women’s hammer throw. Teams of eager thinclads competing in the event include Fontbonne, Lindenwood, Southeast Missouri and Southern Indiana.
“I have high expectations for this weekend,” said SIUE interim head coach Scott Block. “With the combination of great weather, lots of fans and good competition, this will be one of our best meets of the season.”
The meet marks the first home event for the Cougars during the outdoor season.
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“Home meets have a distinct competitive advantage,” said Block. “The athletes get to sleep in their own beds, keep a regular schedule and have local fans cheering them on.”
Prior to the meet, the track and field teams will hold the Derek Drew Mile fundraiser. Drew is a member of the men’s track and field squad who was diagnosed with leukemia in March.
“We are so excited to be putting on such a worthwhile event,” said Block. “Derek Drew is one of our own, and we are doing our best to support him any way we can.”
Drew currently is ranked fourth in the OVC in the 400-meter hurdles and will compete this weekend.
“In watching him run the last two weeks, I have learned what it means to have true courage and strength,” said Block. “I know Derek has more that he wants to prove to everyone and himself, and I am just so excited to see it.”
The Derek Drew Mile begins at noon at Korte Stadium. A $10 minimum donation is required to participate.
In their last meet, the Cougars recorded several personal bests at the Hilltopper Relays in Bowling Green, Kentucky, despite cold temperatures.
Among the personal bests recorded was a second-place finish in the steeplechase by Ben Scamihorn, finishing the 3K in a time of 9 minutes, 36.88 seconds.
Martinus Mitchell threw his best mark in the shot put with a distance of 53 feet, 7.75 inches, good enough for second place.
Ivory Cassell also recorded a third-place finish in the long jump with a personal best of 18 -10.5. Teammate Nichyria Byrd jumped her best mark of 18-7 in the long jump.
The distance team continued its improvement with personal bests from Haley Miller in the steeplechase (11:21.87), finishing sixth, Matt O'Connor in the 1500 (4:00.79), Luke Padesky in the 1500 (4:04.09), and Tyler Owens in the 1500 (4:12.24).