Knippen earns OVC's field athlete honor

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Southeast Missouri State senior Brian Knippen was chosen as the Ohio Valley Conference Male Field Athlete of the Week on Wednesday following his performance at the Mississippi Invitational this past weekend.

Knippen won the shot put with an OVC-best throw of 55 feet, 5 inches. Knippen also finished sixth in the discus with a mark of 155-10, second-best in the OVC so far this year.

Southeast's men won the meet.

Knippen is the third Southeast athlete honored this spring, joining distance runner Brian Whitehead (March 22) and 400-meter runner Miles Smith (April 5).

Both the Southeast men and women will be back in action this weekend at the Jace Lacoste Invitational at Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss.

Smith ranked first

Among the many standout performances for Southeast in its victory last weekend at the Mississippi Inviational, none could surpass the accomplishment of sophomore Miles Smith.

Smith's time of 45.95 seconds in the 400 won the event and gave him the top time in the nation in the 400.

"It is great to have a runner ranked first nationally in any event, but in the 400 meters that is so competitive, it is really an honor," Southeast coach Joey Haines said. "If we continue to get good weather and avoid injuries, his times should continue to lower."

Smith also helped anchor a 1,600 relay team which put up a time of 3:07.33, which ranks 11th nationally. Alonzo Nelson, Chris Poindexter and Chaz Brown make up the rest of the 1,600 relay team.

Southeast golfers fifth

The Southeast golf team finished fifth in the three-day Billiken Invitational, which was hosted by St. Louis University and concluded Tuesday.

Playing at Gateway National Golf Course in Madison, Ill., Southeast finished with a team score of 17 over par. The Redhawks finished one stroke behind fellow Ohio Valley Conference school Murray State, and 32 strokes behind champion Austin Peay, another OVC squad. Fellow OVC schools Tennessee-Martin and Eastern Illinois finished 11th and 15th, respectively.

Mark Schmitz led Southeast with a 2 under, good enough for a tie for seventh overall. Southeast's Matt Hillis finished 10th at 1 under. Brandon Couch and Brian Sheehan each finished 12 over. Zach Decker finished 14 over.

Austin Peay had two players finished tied for first at 6-under and another player finished tied for fourth at 4-under.

Next for Southeast is the season-finale OVC tournament held at Burning Tree Golf Course in Decatur, Ga. The tournament will begin play Sunday.

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