Selby-Tallman in solid place, looking toward nationals

The Missouri Southern women’s track and field team began this week with the signing of three athletes. Patty Vavra, women’s track and field coach. signed Lisa Vengels of Dixon, Mo., Allyson Benkert of St. Clair, Mo. and Amanda Miller of Pierce City, Mo.

Benkert, is the sister of sophomore men’s cross country runner, Brennan Benkert.

Last the week, the women competed at the Radio Shack Invitational hosted by Southern. Senior Jessica Selby-Tallman won the shot put with a mark of 51 feet and one quarter inch. Selby-Tallman received another automatic qualifying mark.

“Her goal is to win nationals,” Vavra said. “She is at a solid place right now and she just continues to get better.”

Sophomore Erin Steffen and senior Jessica Self finished fourth and fifth. Sophomores Cortney Vie and Emilie Mieseler also finished sixth and ninth respectively.

Selby-Tallman also placed second in the weight throw, but was the top collegiate performer with a distance of 55 feet, 11 and three quarter inches. Self finished third, while Vie finished fourth, both were provisional qualifying distances.

Senior Erica Culver won the pole vault competition with a provisional height of 11 feet, seven and three quarter inches. Sophomore Ciara Lipsey finished seventh with a height of ten feet and eight inches.

“Erica [Culver] was very close to the next height,” Vavra said. “Hopefully she will get there. Ciara [Lipsey] is knocking on that door as well.”

Sophomores Victoria Kline and Chandra Cole finished third and sixth in the 5,000 mile run. Senior Kate Brittan was 11th with a time of 19:38. Freshman Olga Bulgarova and seventh in the 800 meter run.

Junior Krista Merrill placed eighth in the mile with a time of 5:30. The Southern 4X400 relay team finished third with t a time of 4:03.

Sophomore Jestine Hayes finished seventh in the triple jump at 34 feet and 10.5 inches.

Sophomore Jessie Wood was ninth in the high jump with a height of five feet, one and three quarter inches.

Last Friday, at the University of Arkansas Tyson Invitational, Sophomore Kimi Shank broke her own school record in the 5,000 meter run.

Shank broke the school record four weeks ago at the University of Arkansas Invitational.

“She is running great,” Vavra said. “The distance runners are really showing they can run two days back to back and that is what we really need.”

The school record was 17:40, before Shank ran the distance in a time of 17:26. With last week’s run, Shank has now set the record at 17:05, taking almost 35 seconds of the school’s record. Overall, Shank finished sixth in the event.

Senior Allison Walker finished 30th in the 800 meter run. Junior Kara Eckard placed 19th in the one mile run.

“Kara [Eckard] is running awesome,” Vavra said. “She is looking to be well prepared for the conference meet.”