SEMO track breaks another record

Sunday, February 3, 2013
Southeast Missouri State’s Reggie Miller competes in the men’s high jump Friday during Southeast’s track meet against SIU Edwardsville in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

It's been a banner start to the indoor season for the Southeast Missouri State track and field program, which had already set four school records entering Friday's rare dual meet against Ohio Valley Conference rival SIU Edwardsville.

That total increased to five after junior Courtney Gapelu broke the women's shot put mark in front of a nice crowd at Southeast's Student Recreation Center.

"I can't recall a year with that many [school records] going down. It's like we're doing it every other week," Southeast coach Eric Crumpecker said after the Redhawks won the men's competition while the Cougars' women prevailed. "We're having a really good year. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Gapelu was already closing in on the shot put mark, her recent throw of 49 feet, 4 1/2 inches ranking as the OVC's top indoor distance since the 2009-10 season.

The native of Independence, Mo., shattered that Friday, winning the event with a toss of 51-9 that easily bettered the former record of 50-4 set by Lutricia Purham in 2000. Gapelu also now ranks first on Southeast's overall top-10 list featuring both outdoor and indoor distances.

Southeast Missouri State's Nikki Buchheit competes in the pole vault portion of Friday's track meet against SIU - Edwardsville in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

"It was actually one of my goals, that and the team being conference champions," Gapelu said.

Gapelu, who also reached a personal best in the weight throw by nearly three feet to finish second at 57-4 3/4, was excited to perform so well during the first of the Redhawks' two home meets this indoor season. She posed for pictures with fellow Southeast students after breaking the shot put record.

"With my friends here, cheering. ... coming out to support me means a lot," Gapelu said.

Among the four Southeast athletes to have previously set program records this indoor season is local product Jill Schnurbusch, also first on the program's overall top-10 list.

The senior from Notre Dame Regional High School has broken her own school mark in the women's pole vault several times over the past few years and her most recent record performance was a height of 13 feet, 3/4 inch.

"It's fun every time," said a smiling Schnurbusch.

Schnurbusch was well off her career best in winning Friday's event, beating out senior teammate Nikki Buchheit in a jump-off after they tied for the top height at 12-4. Southeast captured the top four places in the pole vault.

"I'm working on some technical things. I didn't jump as high as I wanted but I made some progress today," Schnurbusch said. "It's so exciting to see my teammates doing so well. They've been so supportive of me.

"Nikki had two PRs [personal records] today. She did phenomenal."

Schnurbusch, like Gapelu, enjoyed having the rare opportunity to compete at home.

"It was awesome. I slept in this morning, made breakfast. My grandparents were here, my sister came from St. Louis," said a beaming Schnurbusch.

Southeast Missouri State’s Haley Holton clears the bar in the pole vault portion of Friday’s track meet against SIU Edwardsville in Cape Girardeau.

Sophomore Reggie Miller Jr., from Kansas City, Mo., has set the men's high-jump record twice this season. He first set the mark at 7 feet, 1/4 inch and then matched it. The height places him third on the program's overall top-10 list and is the best indoors in the OVC since 2009-10.

"My goal since my freshman year in high school, I wanted to jump seven feet," Miller said. "I finally got it. I didn't think I would get seven feet so fast."

Miller was a double winner Friday, taking the high jump (6-9 3/4) and triple jump (career-best 48-8 3/4).

"It was good practice," Miller said of the low-key meet.

Blake Carter, a junior from O'Fallon, Mo., who competes in a variety of sprints and jumps, recently set the record in the men's 60-meter dash with a time of 6.76 seconds.

"It was tight," said Carter of breaking the mark.

Carter did not compete Friday as he nursed a sore hamstring that has plagued him at various times during his Southeast career.

Southeast's fifth record-breaker this year is sophomore Rebekah Lawson from Fenton, Mo. She recently shattered the school mark in the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 17:36.80, the best indoors in the OVC since 2009-10.

"It's just another PR, but it was nice to have a school record," Lawson said. "It was my goal."

Lawson, who won the 3,000 Friday in 10:48.69 -- there was no 5,000 -- also relished the opportunity to compete at home for a change.

"It's nice, having some classmates and stuff come watch instead of having to travel hours," Lawson said.

Southeast's men won 10 of 15 events and rolled past SIUE 87-64. SIUE's women captured eight of 15 events and edged Southeast 80-76.

"It was a fun meet and we had a good crowd. We always look forward to competing at home," Crumpecker said. "You don't see dual meets much anymore but I really like this. We're going to try and have a dual with SIUE every year. We're planning to go up there next year."

"I thought we had a lot of good performances. I knew it would be a dogfight with the women."

Senior Craig Robinson joined Miller in being a double winner for Southeast as he captured the shot put (53-11) and weight throw (62-7 3/4).

Other Southeast men's winners were junior Kendrick Farr in the 55 (6.48), sophomore Tyler Holmes in the 800 (career-best 1:59.45), freshman Shane Brown in the mile (career-best 4:28.82), sophomore Colton Strotheide in the 3,000 (8:55.46), freshman Christian Locke in the pole vault (15-0) and the distance medley relay team of Holmes, freshman Adam Shivers, freshman Tyson Stoverink from Jackson High School and Brown (11:03.02).

Sophomore Blake Smith from Jackson High School was second in both the 55 (6.51) and long jump (23-9 1/2).

Sophomore Kevin Farley was second in both the shot (53-7 3/4) and weight throw (career-best 60-6).

Senior Jerika Lewis was a double winner for Southeast's women, taking the 55 (7.21) and 300 (40.04).

Other winners for Southeast's women were sophomore Jessica Brown in the long jump (18-7) and freshman Kayla Gutierrez in the weight throw (58-1/2).

Southeast, which returns to action this weekend at the Samford Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., has one more indoor home meet, the annual Redhawks Invite on Feb. 15. The OVC indoor championships will be Feb. 22 and 23 in Charleston, Ill.

"We just want to keep improving and keep getting ready for the OVC, which is always the biggest meet of the year," Crumpecker said.

Men

Southeast 87, SIU 64

55 meters -- 1. Kendrick Farr (SE) 6.48; 2. Blake Smith (SE) 6.51.

300 -- 1. Ahmad Evans (SIUE) 36.28; 2. Darius Smith (SIUE) 37.12; 3.

600 -- 1. Braxton Klavins (SIUE) 1:20.06; 2. Curt Wood (SE) 1:21.08.

800 -- 1. Tyler Holmes (SE) 1:59.45; 2. Marc Presley (SIUE) 2:01.96.

Mile -- 1. Shane Brown (SE) 4:28.82; 2. Ryan Anderson (SE) 4:31.41.

3,000 -- 1. Colton Strotheide (SE) 8:55.46; 2. Charles Johnson (SE) 8:57.91.

55 hurdles -- 1. Forrest Knight (SIUE) 7.94; 2. Josh Thomas (SIUE) 8.03.

1,600 relay -- 1. SIUE (Ahmad Evans, Braxton Klavin, Darius Smith, Josh Thomas) 3:24.31; 2. SE (Alexander Anderson, Curt Wood, Kendrick Farr, Kameron Long) 3:25.37.

Distance medley relay -- 1. SE (Tyler Holmes, Adam Shivers, Tyson Stoverink, Shane Brown) 11:03.01; 2. SIUE (Evan Morgeson, Marc Presley, Trevor Morgan, Scott Woodard) 11:24.51.

High jump -- 1. Reggie Miller Jr. (SE) 6-9 3/4; 2. Laderrick Ward (SIUE) 6-8.

Pole vault -- 1. Christian Locke (SE) 15-0.

Long jump -- 1. Laderrick Ward (SIUE) 24-1 3/4; 2. Blake Smith (SE) 23-9 1/2.

Triple jump -- 1. Reggie Miller Jr. (SE) 48-8 3/4; 2. Thayer Harrison (SIUE) 47-1.

Shot put -- 1. Craig Robinson (SE) 53-11; 2. Kevin Farley (SE) 53-7 3/4.

Weight throw -- 1. Craig Robinson (SE) 62-7 3/4; 2. Kevin Farley (SE) 60-6.

Women

SIUE 80, Southeast 76

55 -- 1. Jerika Lewis (SE) 7.21; 2. Kaya Senaya (SIUE) 7.23.

300 -- 1. Jerika Lewis (SE) 40.04; 2. Kaya Senaya (SIUE) 41.39.

600 -- 1. Jessica Oranika (SIUE) 1:37.00; 2. Hilary Conrad (SIUE) 1:37.38.

800 -- 1. Aftan Noon (SIUE) 2:24.58; 2. Debonie Lofton (SIUE) 2:25.31.

Mile -- 1. Aftan Noon (SIUE) 5:16.82; 2. Maria Trowbridge (SE) 5:19.37.

3,000 -- 1. Rebekah Lawson (SE) 10:46.69; 2. Claire Brown (SIUE) 10:53.19.

55 hurdles -- 1. Michelle Higgins (SIUE) 8.39; 2. Jatavia Wright (SIUE) 8.45.

1,600 relay -- 1. SIUE (Hilary Conrad, Jessica Oranika, Ciara Turner, Jatavia Wright) 4:01.37; 2. SE (Tianna Borner, Ayonna Cartwright, Jovannie Spears, Jerika Lewis) 4:01.89.

Distance medley relay -- 1. SIUE (Conradette King, Debonie Lofton, Renee Johns-Goodenough, Aftan Noon) 12:37.70; 2. SE (Mary Dohogne, Nichole Beffa, Alison Barker, Alyssa Rebecca) 12:56.41.

High jump -- 1. Jasmine Johnson (SIUE) 5-3; 2. (tie) Macy Ritter (SE), Jessica Brown (SE) 5-1.

Pole vault -- Jill Schnurbusch (SE) 12-4; 2. Nikki Buchheit (SE) 12-4.

Long jump -- 1. Jessica Brown (SE) 18-7; 2. Michelle Higgins (SIUE) 18-4 1/4.

Triple jump -- 1. Michelle Higgins (SIUE) 38-9 3/4; 2. Jatavia Wright (SIUE) 38-8 3/4.

Shot put -- 1. Courtney Gapelu (SE) 51-9; 2. Colleen McDonough (SIUE) 46-11 3/4.

Weight throw -- Kayla Gutierrez (SE) 58-0 1/2; 2. Courtney Gapelu (SE) 57-4 3/4.

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