MSSU to host MIAA Track Championships

Meagan Morrison

The Missouri Southern track and field teams will enter today’s MIAA Conference meet with both track and field athletes of the week.

Seniors Jacob Williams and Jessica Selby-Tallman were named conference field athletes of the week after their performances at the Prairie View Invite at the University of Nebraska and the Central Missouri Relay Invitational..

Williams, a pole vaulter, cleared a height of 17 feet, one inch for an automatic qualifying mark. The height is the highest in Division II this season.

“He is pushing for a national championship,” said Tom Rutledge, men’s track and field coach.

“His mark just keeps getting higher and higher.”

Williams’ height is also the highest vault by a Southern athlete since 2005. The 2005 record was set by Matt Campbell at 17 feet one and a three quarter inches.

Selby-Tallman finished third in the shot put with a distance of 49 feet 11 inches. Selby-Tallman placed third in the events and also fifth in the weight throw.

In men’s action, pole vaulters senior Russell Ellis, junior Seagar Wilson, and sophomore Corey Shumate finished fifth, sixth, and seventh.

“All of my vaulters have a chance to get into nationals,” Rutledge said.

“They have the capabilities and they practice hard.”

Sophomore Corey Reynolds finished second in the high jump. Reynolds jumped at a height of six feet eight and three quarter inches.

Freshman Jarrko Jarvenpaa was seventh in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 8:55. Freshman Aki Numella was sixth in the one mile run with a time of 4:21.

“This was a great meet for us,” Rutledge said. “We’ve got the flu bug, but we’re doing good. Aki [Numella] has been sick, but he is doing OK.”

Sophomore Jordan Patton was sixth in the 200 meter run. Sophomore Eric Bearden and senior Adam competed in the shot put. Bearden finished eighth with a distance of 46 feet eleven and three quarter inches, while Sims finished 20th.

Senior John Isenman was 11th in the weight throw with a distance of 53 feet one and a half inches.

“Looking into the conference meet, it is going to be very tough,” Rutledge said.

“Our strength lies in the distance runners, pole vaulters, and jumpers, but it is going to have to take an overall team effort. I have very good confidence in my athletes”

The women’s also competed in the Prairie View Invite and the Central Missouri Relay Invitational.

At Central, senior Allison Walker won the 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.

“Allison [Walker] ran the best race she’s ran all year,” said Patty Vavra, women’s track and field coach.

“That’s really important going into tonight’s conference meet.”

Junior Shannan Borgard and freshman Olga Bulgarova finished eighth and tenth in the 800 meter run.

Senior Kate Brittan finished third in the one mile run, while junior Kari Fritchie and senior Kelly O’Toole were seventh and 11th.

Sophomores Jessie Wood and Kayla Piley were eighth and ninth in the high jump. Piley also finished fifth in the long jump and sixth in the 60 meter hurdles.

Sophomore Jestine Hayes placed seventh in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump. Junior Stacy Borgard finished second in the 600 meter run.

In the throwing events, senior Jessica Self finished seventh in the shot put, while sophomores Courtney Vie and Emilie Mieseler finished tenth and 11th. Self also finished sixth in the weight throw.

Vie and Mieseler were eighth and ninth. Senior Amanda Littlefield was 14th.

At the Prairie View Invite, senior Erica Culver got second in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet seven and three quarter inches. Sophomore Ciara Lipsey also competed in the pole vault finishing third.

“They both equaled their best height for the season,” Vavra said.

“We are strong in the conference, but they are going to have to step it up to get into the national meet.”

The MIAA Conference meet will begin today at 2:30 p.m. and last until around 8:30 p.m.

Events will begin again at 10 a.m. Saturday and last until about 5 p.m.

“This meet is all about working together as a team,” Vavra said.

“It’s on our turf. We could use the support and encouragement from the students and community.”

Admission is two dollars to any student with an I.D. and $5 for adults. Children 12 and under get in free.

People are encouraged to attend and watch “Southern get out there, and get it done,” Rutledge said.