Lions compete in PSU Gorilla Classic

The Missouri Southern men and women track and field teams competed at the 11th-annual David Suenram Gorillas Classic last weekend at Pittsburg State University. 

The women picked up five event wins, while the men had nine top three finishes.

For the women, senior Emily Presley won the pole vault with a height of 14 feet, which is an NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark. 

Presley is the only athlete in Division II to hit the 14-foot mark this season. Presley is also the winner of the MIAA Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for her performance at PSU. 

Teammate sophomore Samantha Petry vaulted to a height of 12-4.50, finishing seventh while picking up another NCAA Qualifying mark.

Junior Desirea Buerge picked up two event wins herself, winning the discus and the shotput. 

Buerge picked up an automatic qualifying mark in the discus of 173-05 and an NCAA Qualifying mark of 50-08.25 in the shot put. 

Junior Payton Roberts finished fourth in the shot put with a distance of 46-08.50. Roberts also finished sixth in the discus.

Freshman Elizabeth Adeoye finished sixth in the 100m hurdles, with Claire Luallen finishing seventh and Deiajuanne Watts finishing ninth in the event.

Sophomore Kassidy Owens finished fourth the 100m dash with a time of 12.57. Sophomore Ojurere Shonekan finished seventh in the same event.

Shonekan also finished eighth in the long jump, with junior Miracle Grant finishing 16th. 

On the men’s side, sophomore Jon Johnson won the 400m with a time of 49.06. 

Junior Josh Norville hit an NCAA provisional Qualifying mark of 24-04.25 in the long jump to take home the win in the event. Junior Rajindra Campbell won the discus with a distance of 183-04. 

Junior Dean Howard finished third in the pole vault with an NCAA Provisional Qualifying height of 16-01.25. 

Senior Kennan Harrison finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 48-00.75. Junior Brendan Watkins finished third in the event with a distance of 45-10.50. 

Campbell finished fourth in the shot put with an NCAA provisional distance of 54-11.25. 

Junior Travis Petersen earned third place in the hammer throw with an NCAA provisional distance of 199-00. 

Freshman Rajheim Carby was second in the javelin with an NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 199-05. 

“The team did well,” said Coach Bryan Schiding, “We always expect our program to be competing at the top levels of both the MIAA and NCAA,”  

As Southern continues to rise in the NCAA Division II polls, the team looks to keep the momentum going into the coming weeks.

Southern’s track and field teams will be in action this weekend in multiple locations, including Central Missouri and Kansas.