Women’s track wins three throwing events

Hallie Hocker

Sunny weather brought the women’s track team together as it competed at Wichita State University last Saturday.

Missouri Southern won three of the four throwing events.

Senior Danee Jones dominated the hammer and discus events with throws of 168-2 and 158-7, each one respectively.

In the discus competition, freshman Amanda Littlefield earned sixth place with a throw of 127-10.

Senior Chelsea Michael took eighth with a throw of 125-7.

Winning the shot put competition was freshman Jessica Selby who threw a season’s best of 45-5.

“I feel like I did better, but I still need to keep improving,” Selby said.

Jones took fifth place with a throw of 42-3 1/2.

“It’s nice seeing us compete well at a DI (Division I) meet,” said men’s and women’s throwing coach Jamie Tallman. “Taken with a grain of salt, knowing it’s less competition than we see at the conference meet.”

He said with great facilities and great weather, it’s expected for the team to have great performances.

Junior Iashia Castle was only 1/4 of an inch off earning a provisional mark in the triple jump competition.

“She had a nice series of jumps in the triple,” said Patty Vavra, head women’s track and field coach.

Castle jumped her way to fourth place in the triple jump competition with 38-2 3/4.

She also finished off the 400-meter dash in eighth place with 57.98.

This was a PR and her best time for indoor and outdoor this season.

“The wind was a factor, but I pushed through that and got a good time in the 400,” she said.

In the long jump, Castle cleared 17-2 3/4 of sand to earn seventh place.

“To sum up the whole meet, it was great,” she said. “I had a good day all across the board in all three events.”

The 800-meter was considered a good event for Southern as well.

Junior Erin Click placed sixth with a time of 2:16.36.

Sophomore Sarah Wallace had a career PR with a ninth-place time of 2:19.54.

Wallace said the runners weren’t spread out this time, but ran in a pack instead.

“People were closer together,” she said. “You always run faster when someone’s right in front of you.”

Junior Kelly Fanning placed 10th in the 800-meter with 2:20.58, earning a college PR for her second time running in the event this season.

Click and Fanning ran in the event to receive to be eligible to compete in the event in the conference meet.

Fanning was injured when she competed in the cross-country meet.

She will be unable to compete in the indoor season until the conference meet.

“She has really made some nice improvements in the outdoor season and improves every week,” Vavra said.

Fanning also had a career PR in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:48.67.

“It always feels good to get a PR,” Fanning said. “And I’m excited because with each week you get faster because of training. I just wish there were more weeks left.”

Senior Megan Russell finished in 4:56.63 to place 10th in the event.

In the pole vault competition, senior Melissa Turner and junior Jenni Blevins tied for eighth place at 10-6 along with three other women.

“It was great to compete at the facility,” Blevins said.

She said the more competition you have, the more of an adrenaline rush, the better one can perform.

In the 400-meter hurdles junior Ashley McClelland ran 1:08.59 for 10th place.

Freshman Rachel Minard was close behind in 11th with 1:08.69.

“We’re seeing lots of improvement,” Vavra said.

She said the team is dealing with some injuries, and anytime they lose people it hurts the team.

The distance runners will all be back running their main events on Saturday.

This is when the team travels to the University of Arkansas to compete.

Michael said the team will see how they will stand this weekend due to the competition.

“This is one of the meets we key toward the entire year,” Vavra said.

She said it is good for the people who need great competitors to go against.

“I think it’ll be a good weekend to run fast,” Click said.