SPRINGFIELD - The track and field Bears continue their indoor season with a trip to Missouri Valley Conference foe Southern Illinois for the Saluki Open, Friday and Saturday, in Carbondale, Ill.
The Bears will be one of 19 teams in a field that includes Ole Miss, SEMO and SIU, among others. It will be the third meet of the season for the Bears and the second in as many weeks. With so many freshmen in the mix, Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Ronald Boyce said the busy schedule, and the experience gained, will help their MVC Indoor Championships hopes.
"The key for us is to keep them moving and keep them very focused when we have one meet after another, after another," Boyce said. "To us, learning is huge and the more we compete the better it will be for us."
It was those young guns who paced the Bears in last weekend's Missouri Invitational. Freshman Sydney Peavy (Kansas City, Mo.) starred for the Bears, winning the 200-meter dash and finishing third in the 60-meter dash with personal bests of 25.61 seconds and 7.82 seconds, respectively. Peavy won her 60-meter preliminary heat and was the anchor on the fifth-placed 4x400-meter relay team that also featured fellow freshmen Alyx Dull, who won her 60-meter dash preliminary heat and finished fourth in the finals, and Andrea Locke (Indepenence, Mo.). Dull's (Clinton, Mo.) 58.92 second leg was the third-fastest of any runner from the ten teams.
Fellow first-year competitors Ariel Butzine (Fr., Lake Villa, Ill.) and Pernell Joseph (Fr., Vieux Fort, St. Lucia) gave Peavy a run for the Bears' top newcomer of the meet distinction. Butzine, who won the 600-yard run by .01 seconds her last time out, was on the runner-up side of another thriller in the event, missing out on the top spot by .85 seconds after finishing in 1:25.33 minutes.
Joseph finished second in the 60-meter dash with a 7.79 second time and fourth in the 200-meter dash, running in 26.25 seconds. She had the fastest 60-meter preliminary time, 7.81 seconds, of any of the 19 runners.
The field events will kick off competition Friday, Jan. 14, at 4 p.m. The conclusion of some field events will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, with track events starting at 11 a.m.