The Southern Illinois track and field team finished strong on day two of the Music City Challenge on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, in a SEC-heavy field comprised of more than 27 teams.

Warren Hazel clocked a time of 46.79 to earn runner-up in the 400m dash. Hazel will most likely enter the MVC Indoor meet with the top time in the conference after his improvement at Vanderbilt. The two-time national qualifier later ran the anchor leg of the 4x400 to help SIU record a season-best time in the event.

Shafiqua Maloney ran 54.89 in the 400m dash to finish 12th.

In the jumps, Kezia Martin set a season-best in the triple jump with a mark of 40'-9.50" (12.43m) to finish sixth. The mark is the best in the Missouri Valley Conference this season.

The Saluki men's shot putters, who are currently ranked No. 1 in the men's shot put event rankings according to USTFCCCA, had four finish in the top-9. Jared Kern finished fifth with a toss of 62'-4" (19.00m), while Adam Kessler finished sixth with the sixth 62'-2.50" (18.96m). Ricky Hurley threw a personal-best 59'-7" (18.16m) to place seventh, while Sam Sikon set a PR for the fifth time in six meets this season with a toss of 57'-11.25" (17.66m) to take ninth. On the women's side, A'veun Moore-Jones threw a personal-best 48'-9.50" (14.87m) to finish ninth while Kayleigh Conlon threw a lifetime-best 45'-7.25" (13.90m) to place 14th.

Cain Hassim cut more than six seconds off his previous best time in the 3K, as he ran 8:28.92 to finish 28th. Cain's brother, Theo Hassim, set a PR by more than 17 seconds and was the second Saluki to cross the finish line at 8:51.97.

Kilee Hagerstrand narrowly set a PR in the 60 meter hurdles, as she ran 8.56 to finish seventh.

The men's 4x100 relay squad of Johnny McGluen, Kevin Turner, Canoy Tyree and Hazel won their heat with a season-best time of 3:14.34. It was a more than two second improvement on their top time this season and was the fifth-best. The Salukis finished ahead of squads from Cincinnati, Indiana State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

The Salukis will next send athletes to the EIU Friday Night Special on Friday, in Charleston, before competing at the 2018 MVC Indoor Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa from Feb. 24-25.

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