‘Team effort’ brings men 2nd in MIAA meet

Sophomore Corey Shumate crosses the bar in the pole vault on March 1. Shumate finished fourth in conference competition.

Sophomore Corey Shumate crosses the bar in the pole vault on March 1. Shumate finished fourth in conference competition.

The Missouri Southern men’s track and field team finished second at the conference meet with a dominating performance from the pole-vaulters landing them right behind the University of Central Missouri (120-96).

“Central is very good team,” said Tom Rutledge, men’s track and field coach. “They really just outnumbered us. It was a good meet though, if you missed it, you missed a show.”

Senior Jacob Williams won the pole vault with a height of 16 feet, six and three quarter inches. Williams earned an All-MIAA honor with his first indoor pole vault title.

Senior Russell Ellis finished second with a height of 16 feet two and three quarter inches. Senior Seagar Wilson and sophomore Corey Shumate earned third and fourth respectively.

“They knew they needed to finish one through four,” Rutledge said. “They just went out there and got the job done.”

Ellis, Wilson, and Shumate also earned All-MIAA honors.

Eleven other Southern men were named All-MIAA selections, receiving All-MIAA honors. Seniors Ryan Arthur, Dustin Miller, sophomore Brennan Benkert and freshman Aki Nummela were also named All-MIAA performers.

Nummela finished sixth in overall high point standings earning him three All-MIAA selections.

“We only had 21 guys entered,” Rutledge said. “So, to have 15 guys get All-MIAA honors ain’t bad.”

Other All-MIAA selections included freshmen Jarrko Jarvenpaa, Kevin Wright, sophomores Corey Reynolds, Jordan Patton, Derek Wright, junior Phillip Horn and senior Kyle Davis.

“I have awesome individuals,” Rutledge said. “They are great not only on the track, but in the classroom. I am really proud of them.”

Miller won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:18.

“It felt amazing to win,” Miller said.

“But, the thing that hit me the hardest was that I had completed my college eligibility and will no longer compete in the MIAA.”

Miller also ran the 3,000-meter run, but was disqualified, along with a runner from Fort Hays State.

“Dustin has a heart of gold,” Rutledge said.

“He’s got guts. He’s led us all year and I just can’t say enough about the kid.”

Arthur finished second in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:43. He was followed by Jarvenpaa and Benkert who finished third and fifth. Benkert also finished fifth in the 5,000 meter run.

Nummela finished second in the one mile run with a time of 4:18 and third in the 800 meter run. He also finished 12th in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 9:01.

“The top three runners in the 800 meter run were separated by hundredths of a second,” Rutledge said. “We have people that can rise above, and Aki [Nummela] did just that.”

Reynolds earned a third place finish in the high jump with a height of six foot 10.75 inches.

Horn finished third in the 60 meter hurdles, eighth in the high jump, and ninth in the long jump with a distance of 21 feet three and a half inches.

“There wasn’t anybody who didn’t give their all,” Rutledge said. “It was a true team effort.”

Patton, who also plays football, finished sixth in the 60meter dash and seventh in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.50.

“He is really pulling double duty,” Rutledge said. “He works hard and he’s never missed a practice.”

Derek Wright finished sixth in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:57. The distance medley team, which consists of Davis, Kevin Wright, Derek Wright, and Nummela, finished third with an overall time of 10:20.

The 4X400 meter relay team (Patton, Andrew Wright, Horn, and Kevin Wright) finished seventh.

Senior John Isenman finished 12th in the weight throw, while sophomore Eric Bearden finished 14th in the shot put and senior Adams Sims finished 15th.

The Division II National Meet, which is held at Minnesota State-Mankato, will take place on March 14-15. Williams, Ellis, and Reynolds will be representing the Southern men.

The Lions will be back in action for their outdoor track season on March 22 at the Pitt State Invitational.