Southern faces rain at meet

Jeremiah Cook

At the John McDonnell Invitational April 9-10 held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, the Missouri Southern Lions outdoor men’s track and field team squared off with other schools and inclement weather.

“It rained all day,” said Tom Rutledge, head coach. “To be honest, it was difficult to compete. On the other hand, I try to emphasize to our athletes that we have to try to compete …, because we never know; the conference championship meet could be held in the rain.”

While at the meet, the Lions did pick another provisional mark for the NCAA Division II National Championship meet, which will be held on May 27-29 in Pomona, Calif.

Brian Lyons, senior distance runner, picked up his second provisional in the 1,500-meter run.

Lyons’ mark gives Southern six athletes with a combined eight provisionals.

The Lions will next compete on Friday in the Mule Relays, hosted by Central Missouri State University, in Warrensburg.

Following that, Southern will compete in four meets before the conference championships, two of which are scheduled to be held in Joplin.

The Lions are feeling good about where they are as a team right now and believe there are few things that can slow them down at this point in the season.

“We need everybody in order to win,” said Matthew Campbell, sophomore pole vaulter. “About the only thing that could stop us would be injuries, basically.”

The MIAA conference meet will be held on May 8-9 in Maryville, Mo.

“We are working toward being a conference champion in the outdoor season,” Rutledge said.

“That’s our goal, and it will be tough. We’re the team to beat in a lot of ways.”