Team claims six victories in MSSU Radio Shack Invitational

Claiming half of the team’s six victories, senior Iashia Castle stood out at the MSSU Radio Shack Invitational.

Castle took the top spot in the triple jump and long jump, leaping 38-06.00 and 18-01.75, respectively.

This improved her previous provisional mark in the triple jump by 6.5 inches and gave the senior her first provisional qualifying mark in the long jump.

“I felt pretty good jumping,” she said. “It was a little stressful because I scratched but it turned out good in the end.”

Castle said she scratched by a couple of inches on a 39-foot jump. She hopes to reach this goal by the end of the season for a chance to go to the national indoor meet.

On the track, Castle took first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.12.

She also ran anchor for the third place 4×400-meter relay team, which clocked at 4:03.88.

Senior Kelly Fanning also claimed a couple of victories for the Lions. She grabbed first in the women’s invitational mile with 5:09.76. She also won the 3,000-meter run with 10:31.18.

Sophomore Kelly O’Toole came in third in the 3K with a career best of 10:39.08.

Women’s head track and field coach Patty Vavra said seeing some of the athletes perform different events.

“Some were able to run back to back on two different days,” she said. “That’ll parallel the schedule at the indoor MIAA championship. They responded very well to that situation.”

Junior Sarah Wallace came out of the 600 yard run in 1:31.27 good for second place.

Sophomore Alison Walker also took second but in the 800-meter run with 2:17.07.

The DMR came in sixth of the teams with a time of 13:05.50.

Sophomore Jessica Selby threw 46-07.25 for first in the shot put. Senior teammate Ashley Clements slung the weight throw 51-10.50 to take second.

“I was pretty excited about it,” she said. “I’ve been waiting five years to actually get better and it finally paid off.”

She said it gives her hope for the next few meets before conference. With only three meets left in the indoor season, Clements hopes to hit the 55-0 mark to get into the national meet.

Selby threw 50-10.25 for third in the weight throw. Freshman Jessica Self threw 47-04.25 for sixth place.

Redshirt Courtney Vie, freshman, competed in her first collegiate meet and threw about five feet further in the shot put than her personal best in high school. This would have given her a provisional mark had she not been a redshirt.

However, Vie thinks it’ll be good training time for when she’ll throw farther in seasons to come.

“I was really excited,” she said. “[I] maybe wish I didn’t redshirt but I guess maybe in the long run it will be better for me.”

She said her training and teammates have been contributing factors to her increase in performance.

“Everybody is helpful,” she said. “They’ll take you to the side and help you with the little things. They’re very personable.”

Vavra said the throwers are a strong group.

“I really feel like there are four young ladies there than can throw over 50 feet in the weight throw,” she said.

The Lions will send Castle, Selby and Walker to the Tyson Invitational Saturday, while the majority of the team will compete at Central Missouri State University Friday.