Teams displays skills

Hallie Hocker

Despite only taking a few to the Jayhawk Invitational at the University of Kansas, Southern still came back with good marks.

Senior thrower Mike Hines hit 52-2.25 in the shot put competition, earning him an NCAA Division II provisional mark in the event. He is the fifth man from the Lions to make an individual provisional qualifying mark.

Senior Matt Campbell once again took the top spot in the pole vault competition with a clearance of 16-8.75. He still has the number one pole vault mark in D-II competition. Sophomore Russell Ellis came in sixth with 15-5 while freshman Seager Wilson had a tenth place vault of 14-11.

“It’s the best since I’ve been here but it wasn’t the greatest I’ve ever done,” Wilson said.

His personal record in high school was 16-3 in outdoor competition. Wilson hopes to pass 16-0 and go to the indoor national meet with his teammates.

“It makes it more realistic seeing them do it in practice,” Wilson said of his teammates’ skill.

He said their experience being nationally competitive has been useful to him.

“They’ve already done it, so they know what everything feels like,” he said. “They can help out with it better than a coach.”

For the jumps, senior Kyler Rushing leaped 6-5 in the high jump for fourth place.

From the women’s side, seniors Dionne Prince and Iashia Castle competed in a number of events.

Women’s head track and field coach Patty Vavra said they sent Castle and Prince to KU for an opportunity at earning a national qualifying mark in the triple jump.

However, it was not the day for those marks.

Castle went 37-1 in the triple jump for third place. Prince jumped 34-9.5 for tenth.

Prince’s biggest improvement came in the 60-meter hurdles with a second place time of 9.15. The previous week at Arkansas she clocked 9.37.

Prince, who set a personal record with the time, said it was a pretty fast drop in her time.

“She had outstanding races in the hurdles,” Vavra said. “She’s about .4 seconds faster than she was this time last year.”

Prince and Castle also competed in the long jump. Prince took ninth with 16-9.75 while Castle took eleventh with 16-2.25.

Prince said there really weren’t any outstanding performances in the jumps.

“There were only three people further than everybody else,” Prince said. “The rest were in there together.”

For the season she has her sights set on being the indoor conference champion in the triple jump.

“I’ve had it in the outdoor,” she said. “I just haven’t been able to grasp it in indoor.”

The next chance for a national qualifying mark will come Friday and Saturday Feb. 3-4 when the Lions compete next at home for the Radio Shack Invitational.

With between 400 and 500 athletes from more than a dozen schools competing, the competition should be good, Vavra said.

“It’ll be a valuable experience for the underclassmen,” she said.

There are a couple of injuries on the team, particularly among the sprinters.

“There will be limited entries in the sprint events but everyone else is pretty healthy and strong and ready to go,” Vavra said.

She said some events to watch will be the throws, jumps, and the 400-meter dash.

“Indoor is a spectator’s event,” she said. “It’s much different than outdoor because all the events are in close proximity of each other.”

She said this also makes it easier for the whole team to see all the events instead of missing some of their teammates’ performances.

The Lions will also be hosting the 2006 Indoor MIAA championships Feb. 24-25.