Track team places third at meet

Kyler Rushing, freshman nursing applicant, competes in the high jump competition on Jan. 25. Rushing placed second in the high jump competition.

Kyler Rushing, freshman nursing applicant, competes in the high jump competition on Jan. 25. Rushing placed second in the high jump competition.

Cliff Erwin

Jan. 24 and 25, the Lions track and field team hosted its home opener at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

After months of nothing but training, the athletes finally had the chance to compete against someone besides themselves.

Teams like the University of Arkansas, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist University and MIAA rival Pittsburg State University were in attendance. Southern went out and placed third only behind Arkansas and Oklahoma. At the end of it all, the Lions ended up with six provisional performances.

“Competing against the type of competition we went against, finishing third right behind Arkansas and Oklahoma, I was very pleased,” said head coach Tom Rutledge.

Rutledge said the short-distance running was a little weak due to youth, and the middle distance and up performed well. He was also pleased with the field events during the two days.

The Lions, not being used to a two-day meet this early in the season, faded a little during the second day of competition.

The team will have to get used to that kind of scheduling, as there are more all day or two-day meets as the season progresses.

Results include: in the 200-meter dash, Moses Manga placed 10th, Demarcus Mathes placed 17th, and Aaron Armstrong placed 24th; in the 400-meter dash, B.J. Blocker placed 19th and Armstrong placed 26th; in the 600-yard run, Shannon Freeman placed 16th; in the 800-meter run, Thomas Quaid placed sixth, Michael Sutter placed 10th, Joel Standeford placed 13th, and Jeremiah Still placed 29th; in the mile run, Magnus Holmstrom placed fifth and Brian Lyons placed seventh; in the 3,000-meter run, Lyons placed fifth and Craig Rhoads placed seventh; in the 5,000-meter run, Petri Kykyri placed second, Larry Boswell placed third, and Rhoads placed fifth; and in the 4×400-meter relay, Southern placed eighth, 11th and 13th.

“For the first indoor meet we performed well; we had a lot of good individual performances,” said Michael Stewart, jumper.

Results from the field events include: in pole vault, Seth Isringhausen placed fourth, Kyle Rutledge placed fifth, Chris Turner placed sixth, and Jimmy Littleford placed 14th; in the triple jump, Stewart placed fifth; in the weight throw, Arley Smith placed first, Jamie Tallman placed third, and Matt Hays placed ninth; in the high jump, Kyler Rushing placed in a three-way tie for second; in the long jump, Stewart placed eighth; and in the shot put, Smith placed first, Tallman placed fourth and Hays placed seventh.

For the Lions, six provisional marks were set at last weekend’s meet. Two were achieved by Smith, in the weight throw and shot put, three were set in the pole vault by Isringhausen, K. Rutledge and Turner. Stewart was the other athlete to achieve a provisional in the triple jump.

“Overall it was a good meet,” Rutledge said. “We were needing a meet to see where we need to be and where we need to go. We’re looking forward to Oklahoma, which means the competition isn’t going to be any weaker.”

On Saturday, the team is going to the University of Oklahoma Invitational where it will see more competition that will prepare it for the MIAA meets.

“We’ll be in better shape and better prepared; we should run quicker and better,” said Ryan Shumaker, hurdler, about the upcoming meet.