The No. 23 Southern Illinois men's track and field team finished second at the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships Sunday.
The Saluki men recorded 108 points, finishing second to Wichita State for the second-straight season. The Shockers won the team title with 146 points. Southern's runner-up finish equals its best finish at the MVC indoor meet since winning the 2012 MVC Indoor Championships.
The Saluki women finished fourth and a mere nine points out of third. Wichita State took home the team title with 180.99 points, while Illinois State finished second with 119 points. Indiana State claimed third with 98 points while SIU (89) and Northern Iowa (67.5) rounded out the top five.
Kyle Landon set or tied his lifetime-best in all three jumps en route to scoring 26 of SIU's 108 points. For his efforts, he was honored as both the MVC Most Outstanding Male Field Athlete and the co-Most Valuable Athlete.
He shared Most Valuable Athlete honors with Wichita State's Hunter Veith to become the fifth Saluki, and first since Zach Dahleen in 2013, to win Most Valuable Athlete. Meanwhile, his Most Outstanding Male Field Athlete honors makes him just the second back-to-back winner of the award since its inception prior to the 2000-01 indoor meet.
The Chester native scored eight points with a runner-up finish in the long jump on Saturday, and opened Sunday by clearing 7-4.5 in the high jump to not only tie a personal-best, but win the MVC high jump title for the seventh time in his career.
The four-time All-American became just the second male jumper in Valley history to win four-straight indoor high jump titles, and the first since 1984, joining Saluki great Stephen Wray.
He later added eight more points to his haul with a herculean effort in the triple jump in which he jumped 50-2.75. Landon shattered his previous personal-best by more than two feet with the leap.
Kezia Martin made it a clean sweep for the Salukis in the triple with a huge personal-best of her own. The Jefferson City, Mo. native won SIU's first indoor triple jump title since Malakiah Love did so in 2012 with a jump of 41-8.5. The mark was more than a foot further than her previous-best and moves her into second on SIU's all-time list.
Jared Kern broke SIU alum John Smith's 34-year old meet record to win his first MVC shot put title. Kern grabbed the lead after a first attempt of 61-7.5. He bettered his mark on his fourth attempt, breaking Smith's record with a toss of 62-7.25.
Cara Engel won the fourth event of the day by taking the pole vault title with a clearance of 12-11. In doing so, she captured SIU's second ever win in the event. Engel joins Lindsey Murray (2015) as pole vault champions from Southern, and was joined on the podium Sunday by Katie Trupp. Trupp cleared 12-7.25 to earn her second-straight runner-up finish.
Warren Hazel placed top-three in two events Sunday, as he claimed second in the 400 meters and third in the 200 meters. Hw ran the 400 in 47.63, and followed by running the 200 in 21.73. Ryan Mayberry was right on Hazel's heels in the 200, as he ran a personal-best 21.86 to finish fifth and move up to seventh on SIU's all-time list.
After being third in the 60-meter dash a season ago, Mystique Thompson moved up one spot with a lifetime-best time of 7.42. Not only was it a lifetime-best, but it broke her own school record of 7.46, set at last year's MVC indoor meet. Thompson has now earned five all-conferences medals during her career.
Tyjuana Eason also broke her own school record in the 200 meters. The Kankakee native ran 24.54 in prelims to smash her own record by .03 seconds. She followed that performance by running 24.64 on Sunday to place third and earn the second all-conference finish of her career. She also added three points with a sixth place showing in the 60 meters.
Austin Weigle snagged seven points with a personal-best clearance of 6-11.5 to finish second to Landon in the high jump. It marks the second-straight meet he set a new PR, and is the first All-MVC finish of his career.
Luca-Anna Palasti recorded the tenth-fastest 800 meter time in school history, as she ran 2:14.82 to finish sixth.
The Salukis will now turn their attention towards the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, March 10 and 11, in College Station, Texas