Two pivotal weeks remain while expectations ride high


Kristen Stacy | The Chart

Senior Shelby Suntherland attempts to clear the high bar in the high jump event at the Bill/Bob Laptad Invite on April 25. 2014. Suntherland placed third in the event with heights of 1.51, 1.56, 1.61, 1.66. Southern alumna Whitney Hardy placed first.

The stage is set for a dramatic final two weeks of the outdoor track and field regular season for the Missouri Southern women. The team will compete in three late-season meets this weekend in preparation for the MIAA Outdoor Championships May 1.

The Lion’s participated in the Gorilla Classic at Pittsburg State University last weekend where junior Addie Mengwasser won the 5k in 18:09.72. Elsewhere, junior Brittani Reagan was the top collegiate athlete in the long jump and finished with a provisional qualifier of 19-06, good for second place. Junior Melanie Bower placed third in the pole vault with a provisional jump of 11-10.

“I was happy with it, having a good attitude and trying every meet to reach new goals has helped me be successful,” said Reagan.

Fellow junior Kaylee Morgan also had a provisional mark of 18-11.25, finishing third in the long jump. Morgan finished second with a provisional mark in the Cowley County Classic heptathlon in Arkansas City, Kan. Wednesday and Thursday.

The Lion’s now turn their attention to the busy weekend ahead. Three distance runners will compete today and tomorrow at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. while throwers will compete at the Mule Relays in Warrensburg. Other members of the team will suit up for the Dewey Allgood Invitational tomorrow in Rolla.

“Mt. Sac is one of the places where you just really have to go to have excellent performances with really good competition,” said Head Coach Patty Vavra. “Historically, a significant number of national qualifying marks are attained at this race for distance runners.”

“I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to get to run in this meet,” said senior Kindra Emberton. “I’m hoping I can hold onto these girls and get the outdoor school record. Winning is a big goal always. Do I think it can happen? Well, I’m definitely not saying it can’t, but I’ll have to run with all my heart.”

The Lion’s will also try to improve on their No. 34 national ranking this weekend. The team fell 14 spots from last week’s poll.

“I expect to do a lot better than what I have been doing,” said senior Dora Eastin. “I just mentally need to get into it. I pray that God gives me the strength to run fast and the wisdom to run my race.”