Saluki track and field started the outdoor season off right at Day One of the Vanderbilt Black and Gold, claiming three event titles and setting a new Missouri Valley Conference event record in the process.
Four-time All-American J.C. Lambert, in his first action since the indoor season of 2012, set a new MVC record in the men's hammer throw with a winning mark of 67.09m (220-01). This newest launch bested his old personal best by nearly eight feet, broke Mark Milleville's SIU record by nearly four feet, and took over the MVC all-time top throw of 218-04 set by Tom Barrett of Illinois State in 2000.
Southern swept the hammer throw with a win on the women's side by senior Kim Fortney, who moved into sixth all-time at SIU with a PR of 61.28m (201-00). Not far behind Fortney was 2012 hammer throw All-American DeAnna Price, who finished second with a launch of 60.99m (200-01).
MVC triple jump champion Dougie Palacious claimed the final title at Day One for the Salukis. The Bahamian native came out victorious with a total leap 14.95m (49-00.75) in the triple jump, two feet better than second place.
Fellow native of Nassau, junior Kenya Culmer, nearly completed the Saluki sweep of the triple jump, falling just over two inches shy at 12.08m (39-07.75). Junior Sarah Rautio finished right behind Culmer with a PR leap of 11.92m (39-01.25) in third place.
Southern also had a strong showing in both the men's and women's shot put events, occupying four top-ten spots in each event.
On the women's side, Kim Fortney fell a foot-and-a-half short of her second title of the day, throwing 15.99m (52-05.50) for second place. Other Salukis who placed in the top-ten included Ashley Gaston (fourth place, 14.83m/48-08.00), Alexus Scott (fifth place, 14.45m/47-05.00 PR) and DeAnna Price (eighth place, 14.03m/46-00.50).
Freshman Josh Freeman finished third in a hotly contested battle in the men's shot put, where the top four spots were decided by four inches.
Freeman's best throw measured at 17.13m (56-02.50), an outdoor personal best. Fellow Salukis in the top-ten were J.C. Lambert (sixth place, 16.20m/53-01.75), Greg Semanisin (ninth place, 15.78m/51-09.25 Outdoor PR) and Bradley Sauer (tenth place, 15.77m/51-09.00 Outdoor PR).