Ellis earns automatic qualifying mark, MIAA Athlete of the Week

(Left) Freshman Aki Nummela and senior Dustin Miller (right) run the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Apri 4. Nummela won the event with a time of 9

29, while Miller placed 2nd. Senior Ryan Arthur finished 4th in event with a time of 10

(Left) Freshman Aki Nummela and senior Dustin Miller (right) run the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Apri 4. Nummela won the event with a time of 9

The Missouri Southern men’s track and field team added another automatic qualifier to its list of men attending the national meet.

Senior Russell Ellis earned a automatic qualifying mark last weekend at the MSSU Invitational, with his pole vault height of 16 feet, five and a half inches.

Ellis finished second in the event in front of sophomore Corey Shumate who finished 5th.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Tom Rutledge, men’s track and field head coach. “He performed really well and I am proud of him.”

Ellis was also named MIAA Track and Field Athlete of the Week.

Senior TJ Britton, who competed in his first outdoor meet due to the basketball season, finished 1st in the long jump with a distance of 22 feet, two and a quarter inches and second in the 800-meter run.

This was Britton’s first time to compete in the long jump at Southern. He was also part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team.

“TJ is doing very well,” Rutledge said. “He has a lot to learn, but he did extremely for it being his first meet.”

Sophomore Corey Reynolds won the high jump event with a height of six foot, six and three quarter inches.

Sophomore Chris Brown, who is seeing action for the first time since breaking his ankle during a homecoming activity, finished four in the high jump with a height of six foot, two and three quarter inches.

“It is good to have Chris [Brown] back,” Rutledge said. “His timing is a little off, but he is working on getting his rhythm and confidence back. He won conference last year, so he had the ability to do good for us.”

Sophomore Andrew Wright won the 200-meter hurdles with a time of 22.52.

He also earned a second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles.

“Andrew [Wright] works hard for us,” Rutledge said. “He makes up for things in his work ethic.

“Anything he gets, he earns and I am glad to see him have a good meet.”

Junior decathlete Phillip Horn won the 110 meter hurdles, while placing 2nd in the 400-meter hurdles.

Freshman Kevin Wright finished 1st in the 400-meter hurdles.

“He did a very good job,” Rutledge said. “He has the ability and that is why we recruited him.”

Seniors Adam Sims competed in the shot put and discus placing 3rd and 6th.

Senior John Isenman was 3rd in the hammer throw.

Freshman Aki Nummela won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while sophomore Brennan Benkert took home the title in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:07.

Freshman Jarkko Jarvenpaa finished 3rd in the 1,500 meter run.

“I can’t complain,” Benkert said. “Our guys ran well, especially our 4×4 team. The weather was a little chilly, but otherwise it was a great day to run.”