While most of the Southern Illinois track and field team got the week off in preparation for next week's Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships, a handful of Salukis posted impressive performances at the Friday Night Special, hosted by Eastern Illinois University.

The Salukis only sent 29 athletes to the meet.

Southern's throwers and vaulters made most of the headlines, with SIU sweeping both the weight throw and the shot put.

On the women's side, Nikki Freeman collected her first collegiate event title in the shot put with a toss of 46'-10.25 while Freya Block was the top-collegiate finisher in the weight throw. Block threw 63-9.50 to finish second to 2016 Olympian DeAnna Price.

Price set a personal-best in the event at 76-11.75. She remains third in the U.S. in the weight, behind fellow Salukis Gwen Berry (81-3.25) and Jeneva (McCall) Stevens (77-7.25).

Ricky Hurley continued his stellar redshirt freshman campaign as he won the shot and finished fourth in the weight throw. Isaac Ingram, meanwhile, threw the weight 65-plus feet for the fifth-straight meet, winning the event for the second time this season.

The Saluki men placed three in the top four of the pole vault. Senior Nathan Schuck won the event with a season-best clearance of 16-4.75. It's the second-highest clearance in the Missouri Valley Conference this season, with Friday night's runner-up, Chad Weaver, leading the Valley with a mark of 16-6.75. Weaver also cleared 16-4.75. Freshman Jacob Wells took fourth.

Senior Cara Engel added a second place finish in the women's pole vault with a clearance of 12-6.25.

The Salukis will now shift their focus to the MVC Indoor Championships, hosted by the University of Northern Iowa, beginning Friday, Feb. 24.

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