Southeast women's track team gets off to fast start

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Caywood's win in the 5,000 meters paced the women, while the men are in third after the first day.

The two-time defending champion Southeast Missouri State women got off to a strong start Friday as the Ohio Valley Conference indoor track and field meet began in Nashville, Tenn.

Southeast, which has won five straight OVC titles overall -- including three outdoor crowns -- has 41 points.

Heading into today's action, when most of the finals will be contested, the Redhawks lead Eastern Kentucky by 10 points. Host Tennessee State, considered Southeast's main challenger, is third with 29 points.

"Our women can win, but it's going to be really close between us and Tennessee State. They have a lot of people in the finals," Southeast coach Joey Haines said. "We did a lot of good things today. We did about what we can do."

Southeast's men did not fare nearly as well, as the Redhawks struggled in some of the field events.

Five-time defending champion Eastern Illinois leads with 67.5 points, followed by Tennessee State with 32.5 and Southeast with 32.

"We did not have a good day in the field events," Haines said. "On the track we got about everything we can get. We had some really good performances. We'll score a lot of points [today].

"We dug ourselves a hole and it will be tough to catch Eastern Illinois, but it's not out of the question."

In the few finals that were contested Friday, Southeast came away with one champion as senior Jennifer Caywood won the women's 5,000-meter run with a time of 17 minutes, 56 seconds.

Also in the 5,000, Southeast senior Kris Woolf finished third (18:11.5) and freshman Brittni Peck was sixth (18:36.3).

"Jen and the others in the 5,000 really picked us up," Haines said.

Junior Lainie Bohnsack, a Central High graduate, tied for second in the high jump (5-6 1/2).

Another CHS product, senior Heather Jenkins, was second in the shot put (47-2 1/2), while senior Nichole Portell was third (45-6 1/4). Southeast's women placed eighth in the distance medley relay (12:55.91).

On the men's side, Southeast's top finish was by senior Andrew Lambert. He was third in the high jump (6-8), and also placed fifth in the long jump (23-5 1/4).

Sophomore John Berry was fourth in the long jump (24-2 1/2), while sophomore Anthony Harris, a CHS graduate, placed sixth (22-9 1/4).

Andy Glass, a freshman from Jackson High, was fifth in the shot put (47-3), and sophomore Andy Croxford placed eighth (44-10 1/4).

Senior Gabe Lutes was sixth in the 5,000 (15:28.47), sophomore Ryan Doty was eighth in the high jump (6-2), and the Redhawks' distance medley relay placed fourth (10:17.23).

The preliminary running events were highlighted by the performance of Southeast junior standout Miles Smith, who had the top qualifying times in the 400, 200, and 55.

Softball splits opening pair

The Southeast softball team opened its season Friday by splitting a pair of games at the Mississippi State Invitational in Starkville, Miss.

After a 5-0 win over Alcorn State, the Redhawks fell to undefeated Mississippi State 5-2.

Sophomore Elaine Fisher pitched a compete-game one-hitter against Alcorn State (1-9). She struck out a career-high seven and walked none.

The Redhawks had just four hits, but made them count. The big blow was the first Southeast home run for freshman Jennifer Monaghan. It came in her first collegiate at-bat and put the Redhawks ahead 1-0 in the second inning. Southeast added another run in the frame.

Leading 3-0, the Redhawks added two more in the sixth, including sophomore Megan McDonald's solo homer. McDonald had two RBIs.

Against Mississippi State (10-0), the Redhawks had five hits, including another home run by Monaghan, who had two hits. Junior Stephanie Mata also homered.

Senior Stephanie Huffman took the loss, allowing nine hits and five runs (four earned) in six innings. She struck out six and walked three. Freshman Jessica Rosencrants hurled a hitless seventh.

Southeast will have two more games both today and Sunday in the four-team, round-robin tournament. Today the Redhawks play Northwestern State and Alcorn State.

-- From staff reports

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