Young Lady Lions place third in first track meet

Cliff Erwin

With half of the Lady Lions track and field team being freshmen and half returning lettermen, they were able to amass 53 points, finishing third behind the University of Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma and beating Oklahoma State University by 11 points.

At the beginning of the meet, there was a lot of nervousness in the youthful squad, but by the end, the team performed as though this wasn’t the first meet of the season.

“We were extremely pleased with the outcome of the meet,” said Patty Vavra, head coach. “For our initial indoor meet…overall, I thought that we showed up very well against the competition.”

Vavra thought there were many bright spots in the meet, at the same time there were some things that the team needs to work on.

Results from the track events include: in the 200-meter dash, Mary Garrett placed fifth, Ashley Fisher placed 10th, Iashia Castle placed 12th, and Melissa Horn placed 16th; in the 400-meter dash, Garrett placed third, Castle placed sixth, and Horn placed 11th; in the 800-yard run, Alisha Adams placed third and Erin Click placed sixth; in the mile run, Click placed ninth, Jen Noelken placed 10th, and Megan Russell placed 12th; in the 3,000-meter run, Rachel Patterson placed eighth and Noelken placed 11th; in the 5,000-meter run, Johanna Kanala placed second and Patterson placed fourth; in the 60-meter hurdles, Garrett placed fifth; and in the 4×400 relay, Southern placed fourth.

Results the field events include: in the pole vault, Christal Arnall placed 12th; in the triple jump, Charmaine Kent placed fifth, Castle placed eighth, and Fisher placed 11th; in the weight throw, Danee Jones placed first and Shonna Sherrell placed seventh; in the high jump, Horn placed ninth, Sara Mueller placed 12th and Kent placed 15th; in the long jump Castle placed eighth, Fisher placed 17th, and Kent placed 21st; and in the shot put, Jones placed fourth and Sherrell placed 15th.

“In the first meet of the year, you never know what’s going to happen, but considering we’re all pretty young and inexperienced, it went pretty good,” said Jamie Burnham, assistant coach.

Two provisional marks were set by Jones in both the weight throw and the shot put.

Jones is ranked third in the nation in the weight throw behind the two athletes who claimed the first and second rankings last season.

Unlike last week at home, Vavra plans on pulling back on the number of events the athletes will participate in to concentrate on more quality.

Oklahoma, Wichita State University, Kansas State University and the University of North Texas are some of the teams the Lady Lions will face on weekend.

Burnham said the team stayed with the same kind of practice routine throughout the week. She told the team the first meet was just a starting point and that the Ladies will build from there, hopefully getting better every week.