Runner gains provisional, adds to national meet qualifiers list

At the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville, the Missouri Southern women’s outdoor track and field team faced more than just tough competition; it also faced off against Mother Nature.

On April 10, the high temperature was 52 degrees in a storm that brought 13-mile-per-hour winds and 1/2 inch of rain.

“They weren’t great conditions at all, which really limited what we did,” said Patty Vavra, women’s head coach

“It was kind of a miserable weekend from a weather standpoint. We can handle wet if it’s warm, and we can handle cold if it’s dry, but when you put the two of them together, it can make it difficult to compete.”

The team would like to compete on a day when the temperature is in the high 80s to low 70s with no wind, Vavra said.

“We don’t get that very often in Southwest Missouri,” Vavra said. “We knew that going into the season. That’s one of the reasons that we took the trip to (the Florida State Relays in Tallahassee).”

The Lions did add to their list of national meet qualifiers.

Ashley Caffey, junior distance runner, gained a provisional in the 3,000-meter run, giving her two provisionals on the season.

The Lions are confident about the rest of the season and think there is little that could potentially keep them from winning the outdoor conference championship.

“If we’re going to win, we’re going to have to do our best,” said Chelsea Michael, junior thrower. “And the only thing that could keep us from doing that would be personal attitudes and people not doing their best.”

“We might need a little bit of help in the prints,” said Danee Jones, junior thrower.

“But other than that there’s nothing to keep us from winning the conference championship.”

“The spring season gets busy with finals and all, so we’ll be busy with that,” said Ashley Clements, junior thrower.

The Lions’ next meet began April 15 and runs through Saturday at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.