Women race to 4th in MIAA

Hallie Hocker

While the women didn’t win, they did place fourth overall at the conference meet.

“There were some very bright spots and we faltered a bit,” said women’s head track and field coach Patty Vavra.

Junior Erica Culver cleared 12-04.50 for the win in the pole vault.

“It was nice to be competitive,” Culver said. “I know that’s what I had to do to win it.”

Culver said the competition wasn’t stiff so much as it just came out of nowhere. The second place competitor had a personal record by eight inches.

Freshman Ashley Birch reset her school record in the 60-M dash with a time of 7.72 in the semi-finals.

“It was better than expected,” Birch said. “I didn’t expect to do that at all.”

She is thankful Coach Vavra allowed her to come out and run for the team. She looks forward to the outdoor season and hopes to qualify for nationals in the 100-M and 200-M races.

Junior Jessica Selby came near her school record in the shot put again this week. Selby threw one over 48 feet and then threw 49-02.25 for the win. However, she didn’t compete in finals due to injury.

Overall the throwing team did very well.

“The throwers did what the throwers do every week and then some,” Vavra said. “Nearly all of them had a personal best in at least one event.”

Vavra said she was also impressed with senior Sarah Wallace’s performance in the 600 yard run. Wallace won the race with a time of 1:27.19.

“We competed hard,” Vavra said. “I know there’s a lot to be said about that. They have very high expectations for themselves.”

Twenty-four athletes and two relay teams received All-MIAA status at the meet.

Next, Ellis, Williams, Wilson, Brown, Selby and Culver will all be competing at nationals Mar. 9 and 10 in Boston.

“Competing at the national level has been a goal since last year,” Wilson said. “And obviously going to Boston is never bad.”

Southern opens the outdoor season March 16 at the Pittsburg State University Invitational.