Nationally ranked Lions gear up for conference


Senior Nathan Henry striding ahead in the 5K race as he’s being encouraged by his track & field teammate at the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invitational inside the Fred G. Hughes Stadium on Apr. 24, 2016. Henry finished third in the race. That’s his first top three finish in the 5K since Apr. 11, 20145.

The Missouri Southern track & field teams used the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invitational and the Drake Relays as the final tune-up for the MIAA Outdoor Championships beginning today.

It was the final split squad event for the teams this outdoor season as records fell in both locations. 

Freshman and MIAA Track Athlete of the Week, Vincent Kiprop made more headlines as he set another MSSU record. 

He finished the 5K race in a time of 14:15.13, six seconds faster than the previous record set in 2004.

Junior Emily Harris also competed in the 5K race as she finished 17th with a time of 17:02.69. 

The 4×400 m relay team of Jeff Fraley, Sam Khors, Brandon Callicutt, and Thomas Hawkins placed 15th in a time of 3:15.59.

Back on the track inside Fred G. Hughes Stadium, senior Kaylee Morgan was making huge waves. 

Morgan broke her own school record in the long jump with a NCAA AQ mark of 20-06.50. 

That was three inches further than the previous mark. She also won the 100m hurdles race in a time of 14.36.

Senior Brittani Morgan finished second in both the long and high jump events. 

Sophomore Kylee Husley and Heckmeyer placed second and third respectively in the high jump event.

Junior Cynthia Torres won the 1,500m race. That was the first time Torres competed in the 1,500 this outdoor season.

Freshman Emily Presley nabbed a NCAA AQ in the pole vault placing in second place with a height of 13-01.50.

Freshman Desirea Buerge picked up a provisional distance of 160-07 in the discus, topping her previous best by more than three inches and placing second. 

That distance marks fifth nationally.

For the men, senior Jayce Thomas won the 110m hurdles. Freshman Janzen White won the 3K steeple chase.

Freshman Cody Vogt and Trevon Payne finished second and third in the high jump event. 

Kennan Harrison placed second in the triple jump event with a mark of 47-05.00.

Daniel Hernandez won the javelin throw event, while Tyler Hovey was second in the discus throw. 

Northwest Missouri State is hosting the MIAA Outdoor Championships. Events start today and will continue through Sunday. 

In other news, a Southern athlete has been named MIAA Track Athlete of the Week for the sixth time in a row. Kiprop has won the award four times this T&F season including twice this outdoor season.