Saluki shotputters earn nation's top rank - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Saluki shotputters earn nation's top rank

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CARBONDALE --  When it comes time for competition, having the advantage of intimidation over opponents can give that extra edge needed to come out on top. And what's more intimidating than being the best in the country?

Saluki throwers have a long history of national prowess. Following the latest rankings released by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the Saluki men's shotputters sit at the top of the list.

"When the ranking finally came out, we were at practice, and it's just like a bunch of hard work finally paid off," said SIU junior shotputter Ricky Hurley.

"We've been working on this, if I do recall, was last year when Coach Lambert wanted us to be number one shot-putters in the nation, and we finally got that this year, so it's amazing, feels great," said SIU senior weight thrower Isaac Ingram.

The Saluki shotputters currently lead the nation with a cumulative mark of 241'1" between the four throwers, with a foot of separation between second place.

"They're very special. I tell them all the time, this group is going to spoil me because there's only a group you get like this that comes around like once every 10-20 years, if even that," said SIU throws coach JC Lambert.

The top ranking has the throwers heading into meets with plenty of confidence.

"Oh Walking in like we own the place, really is what it is. Like nobody is going beat us. People might beat us, but it won't be by much," said Hurley.

Although the rankings bring confidence to the Saluki throwers, the focus remains on the big picture.

"I mean it's good, but it's not like the main goal. The main goal is to do well at big meets, conference, nationals, stuff like that. But I mean, it's definitely nice, having that on the shoulder," said SIU senior shotputter Jared Kern.

Saluki Track and Field are back in action this weekend at home for the Don Denoon Invitational Friday and Saturday.

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