Lions fall short at Oklahoma, have high hopes for next meet

Cliff Erwin

Two weeks ago at home, the Lions started the season out with good performances, individually as well as a team.

This past week, though, the team didn’t fair as well in the standings, but certain individuals excelled from their previous performances.

The Lions traveled to the University of Oklahoma to take part in the J.D. Martin Invitational on Feb. 1.

The team competed against teams such as the University of North Texas, Kansas State University, Barton County Community College, Oklahoma State University and OU.

“It was a good quality meet, it was very hot,” said head coach Tom Rutledge. “The bottom line is that we just didn’t look good, we looked very sluggish.”

“We have to be more Spartanistic, we have to learn that we can do these things, because that’s the way it is.”

The results from the meet included: in the 200-meter dash, Moses Magnus placed 23rd and Demarcus Mathis placed 24th; in the 400-meter dash, Shannon Freeman placed 11th; in the one-mile run, Brian Lyons placed third with a time of 4:17; in the 600-yard run, B.J. Blocher placed 13th and Aaron Armstrong placed 15th; in the 800-meter run, Thomas Quaid placed fourth with a time of 1:59, Michael Sutter placed seventh with a time of 2:00, Lucas Plocher placed 12th and Fredrick Amukonyi placed 16th; in the 3,000-meter run, Southern placed second, third, fourth, fifth and 11th, with Magnus Holmstrom, Petri Kykyri, Larry Boswell, Craig Rhoads and Paul Koehler, respectfully; and in the one-mile relay, the Lions placed 11th and 13th.

In the field, the results included: in pole vault, Seth Isringhausen placed third and Kyle Rutledge placed ninth; in the triple jump, Michael Stewart placed ninth; in the shot put, Jamie Tallman placed 11th; and in the weight throw, Arley Smith placed seventh and Tallman placed 12th.

This week the team hosts its second indoor meet of the season, the Baymont Inn/Fazoli’s Open Invitational, at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

“I think the team has a pretty good mindset coming into this week,” said distance runner Paul Koehler.

“We’re back at our home track. We performed well last week, so we will probably perform better this week.”

This meet will be the first time this season the Lions have seen MIAA teams besides Pittsburg State or Southwest Baptist. Rutledge and his team will have its first real chance to see the conference competition.

Short distance is a key focus on the mind of Rutledge this week, because he thinks those will be key to winning the conference championship.

“We’re going to have to get up for this meet whether we’re tired or not, and being a home meet, we’re going to have to focus in,” Rutledge said.

The events start Friday at 5 p.m. and at 11 a.m. Saturday. There will also be a high school track meet taking place at noon on Sunday.

Any high school athletes in the area are welcome to enter the competition.