Pole vaulting record broken by two Lions in same day

With both coaches saying last weekend was not as sharp as the week before, there werer still some outstanding performances at the Radioshack/MSSU Open Invitational.

Junior Erica Culver and freshman Ciara Lipsey both broke the university indoor pole vault record previously held by Melissa Turner (11-02.50). Culver cleared 12-01.50 for the win last Friday while Lipsey followed with 11-05.75. Both earned provisional marks. Culver is currently ranked tenth in the nation.

Culver who been waiting for this mark said she credits her better performance to more aggression, better technique, and a bigger pole.

Lipsey alike had been waiting for things to click for a good performance. She said she has been relearning technique all season.

“I was extremely happy with my performance,” she said. “I broke my PR twice in a day. That’s always something to be proud of.”

Lipsey is looking forward to seeing how she and Culver compete as a team the rest of the season.

Southern also turned in other good standings. In the 60-m hurdles freshman Channell Lloyd took second with 9.39.

Lloyd said she wasn’t very impressed with her time but is hoping to develop a faster trail leg as well as faster arms over the hurdles.

She also took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 17-02.25.

Fellow freshman Danielle Oliver took fourth in the triple jump with 36-02.25.

Southern sent five to finals in each of the women’s throwing events.

Junior Jessica Selby took first in the shot put (46-10.00).

Sophomore Cortney Vie took third with 42-08.00. Freshman Emilie Mieseler took fourth (41-01.00) while sophomore Jessica Self took fifth (40-05.50). Freshman Erin Steffens took ninth (38-00.75).

Selby also led the way in the weight throw, taking second (52-10.75).

Self followed in third (51-00.25). Littlefield took fifth (49-02.50) and Vie finished sixth (49-02.25).

Mieseler rounded the group at tenth (46-06.00).

“We’re starting to see more conference teams come out of the woodwork,” Self said.

Now Littlefield said the throwers are waiting to see how they fair against Truman State in competition.

“I think the subtle improvements week by week will pay off in the end,” she said.

On the men’s side, freshman Chris Brown took the top spot in the high jump with 6-08.25. Freshman Corey Reynolds took fourth with 6-06.25.

“I thought I was doing better because I didn’t hit the bar until 6-10,” Brown said.

Now the two freshmen will continue to focus on consistency in their approaches.

“They both looked better,” said high jump student assistant Kyler Rushing. “They didn’t wait until the third attempt to make it. Their approaches are finally starting to look better.”

In the invitational mile sophomore Dustin Dixon turned in a time of 4:17.74, good for second place.

Senior Marcus Walton also took second in the 800-M run (1:56.06). Freshman Tyler Chiartano finished fifth (1:58.56).

In the 3000-M run junior Ryan Arthur took second (8:47.27).

Freshman Brennan Benkert came in sixth (8:57.56).

“I wanted to run faster, but I was glad I was able to hold off the Central people,” Arthur said. “That was the highlight of the race.”

In the 5000-M run Benkert finished fifth (15:30.97) and sophomore Bret Musser took sixth (15:34.98).

Sophomore Seager Wilson and junior Russell Ellis finished fourth and fifth in the pole vault, respectively. Both cleared 15-11.00.

Meanwhile, sophomore Nick Vince finished sixth in the shot put (48-09.00).

A few of the Lions will be traveling to Arkansas for the Tyson Invitational this week while the others take a break a couple weeks before conference.

“The great thing is this week we get to take off,” Vavra said. “As it’s a young group, it’s a great chance to get back to training.”

Men’s head coach Tom Rutledge agreed, saying it would be a good week for some to get regenerated. For the others.

He hopes the athletes do well against the tough competition at the Tyson meet.