Wood gets her ‘best jump of the year’ as women improve

Junior Erin Steffen throws the discus. Steffens finished fourth with a distance of 36.15 meters.

Zack Hinkle

Junior Erin Steffen throws the discus. Steffens finished fourth with a distance of 36.15 meters.

The Missouri Southern women’s track and field team will enter tonight’s meet at Wichita State coming off of another automatic qualifying mark from senior Jessica Selby-Tallman.

Selby-Tallman qualified for the outdoor national meet last weekend at the MSSU Invitational with a shot put distance of more than 50 feet, four and a half inches.

She was also named one of this week’s MIAA Track and Field Athletes of the Week.

“She really just had a big throw,” said Patty Vavra, women’s track and field head coach. “She is having a wonderful year and hopefully it will continue to follow her to nationals.”

Selby-Tallman’s mark was her first throw of more than 50 feet in her outdoor career. The throw is also a new school record, breaking the previous record of 49 feet, 10 inches, which was also set by Selby-Tallman.

“This was a landmark throw,” Vavra said. “She has a automatic national qualifying mark in the hammer and shot now.”

Selby-Tallman won the hammer throw with a distance of 181 feet, five inches.

Junior Erin Steffens finished 3rd in the shot put followed by senior Jessica Self. Sophomores Emilie Mieseler and Cortney Vie finished 6th and 7th.

Self also finished 3rd in the hammer, 2nd in the discuss and 2nd in the javelin. Sophomore Jill Weeks picked up the title in the javelin.

“This really was just a great meet for the team,” Vavra said. “The University of Arkansas really made it competitive for us.”

Sophomore Kimi Shank won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:06 just ahead of teammate sophomore Courtney Waltbillig.

Shank also earned the honor of being one of the MIAA Track and Field Athletes of the Week.

“They really took advantage of the competition,” Vavra said. “Kimi [Shank] has a wide range and she is doing very well. Courtney [Waltbillig] is improving greatly and that has been a long time coming. It is really great to see her that level and to get a provisional.”

Also in the 3,000-meter, was junior Kara Eckard who finished 4th, followed by sophomore Ashley Bunch who finished 5th.

“So far, every meet we have had someone who has stepped up and performed awesome,” Bunch said. “As a whole, we are doing great and need to keep doing this every week.”

Senior Erica Culver and sophomore Ciara Lipsey competed in the pole vault placing 2nd and 6th.

Sophomore Channell Lloyd won the 100-meter hurdles, the triple jump, and high jump. She also placed 3rd in the 400-meter hurdles.

“She had a great series of jumps,” Vavra said. “She is steadily improving. She was out for six weeks because of injury, but she right on target.”

Senior Kate Brittan won the 1,500 meter run.

“It’s good to see her win,” Vavra said. “She’s really came a long way and is making some great gains.”

Sophomore Jessie Wood picked up the title in the high jump while sophomore Kayla Piley finished 2nd.

“This was Jessie’s [Wood] best jump of the year,” Vavra said. “She needed that for her confidence. She works hard on the high jump everyday.”

The women will be competing tonight and tomorrow at Wichita State University against Division I schools.

“I’m excited for this meet because Wichita is my hometown,” Lipsey said. “Hopefully, this meet will bring out the best in myself and our team.”