Women prepare for upcoming conference meet

After waiting all season to triple jump 39 feet, Senior Iashia Castle finally hit her mark.

She improved her provisional in the triple jump with a mark of 39-4 feet. Teammate Dionne Prince, senior took seventh with a 11.21-meter mark.

Castle now sits at the eighth spot on the national performance list for D-II triple jump.

“At this point it’s solidified her chances to go to the national meet,” said Patty Vavra women’s head track and field coach. “We’ve been chasing that mark all year long.”

After having a close call going to nationals last year, Castle said she is comfortable where she is on the list this year.

She said she couldn’t believe it when they told her how long she had jumped.

“I had to check what it was in inches,” she said.

Castle said one of her goals at conference is to break the University 4×400-meter relay record.

The Lions’ 4×400 finished in 4:01.31 for second at the University of Oklahoma.

“It’s well within our reach,” said Sarah Wallace, junior. “I think conference is the time to do it.”

Wallace also had a personal best indoor 800-meter run with a fifth place time of 2:19.76.

“It came at the right time,” she said. “It was a boost of confidence going into conference. Not to mention a boost in standings.”

Her goal this weekend is not to settle, but improve on her time.

Sophomore Alison Walker finished second in the event with 2:15.63. She is currently 12th in the nation in the event.

“It was a good tune-up for the conference meet,” Vavra said. “We had some unanswered questions; the meet gave us good opportunity to answer those before the conference meet.”

Vavra said there was a small, but competitive field at the meet.

“For the week before the [conference] meet, it was a nice scenario,” she said.

She said the athletes competed in the events they needed to against quality competition.

In the 60-meter hurdles, senior Dionne Prince took fifth with a time of 9.30.

Sophomore Kelly O’Toole placed second in the mile run with 5:24.16.

Freshman Kara Eckard took the 1,000-meter run with a first place finish of 3:12.72. Freshman Kari Fritchie followed with a fourth place time of 3:15.80.

Another freshman, Shannan Borgard, took second in the 600-yard run with 1:29.46.

Sophomore Ashley Hendrix also took second with her 3,000-meter run of 11:00.94.

Freshman Jessica Self led the Lions in the weight throw with a third place mark of 15.10 m.

She said she was hoping for 50-0 feet, but was happy with the throw.

After throwing 37-0 last year, she credits her improvement to watching her teammates and learning by observing them.

Senior Ashley Clements followed with a mark of 14.78 m. Sophomore Amanda Littlefield followed her with 14.19 m for fifth. Sophomore Jessica Selby placed eighth with 13.81 m.

Selby won the shot put event with 13.99 m. Self finished eighth with 11.83 m. Clements threw 11.59 m for ninth.

In the women’s high jump, senior Melissa Horn took sixth with a jump of 1.53 m.

In the long jump, Castle went 5.27 m for eighth, while Prince jumped 5.09 m for ninth.

Senior Madeline Cline took seventh in the pole vault with 2.90 m.

“Always the strategy going into the conference meet is to have the best performance of your career and year,” Vavra said. “Because you can take the performance list and equal those marks, but everybody comes ready to compete and win conference.”

She said the athletes have to have their best performance in several events.

Wallace said they’re ready to Vavra said the depth and balance of Central Missouri State University will be thing to beat at conference.