Lions achieve early success but continue planning for future


Willie Brown | Contributor

Senior Clark tanksley clears the bar at the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invite on April 25, 2014. Tanksley took home the title in the high jump with a height of 6-10.75 while the Lions picked up four provisional and two total event wins overall. the Lions will host the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invite again this season, on April 24, 2015.

Many members of the Missouri Southern men’s track and field team saw their first action of the spring outdoor season last weekend as the team returned to competition after an extended layoff. The team separated into two units, with the larger group competing at the PSU Wendy’s Invite in Pittsburg, Kan. Elsewhere, a trio of distance runners led by senior Eric Schott, who finished eighth, raced the 5k in St. Louis for the Washington University Invite.

“This first meet is more of a training style meet for us, so just opening up and being competitive is what it’s all about,” said head coach Bryan Schiding. “I’m looking for a spark, a hunger that shows they have a fire in their eyes.”

In Pittsburg, pole vaulting junior Brady Melugin and sophomore Morgan Hold tied for the championship after soaring to a height of 15-07.25. Elsewhere, senior Jacob Rowe long-jumped his way into fourth place with a distance of 22-05.75, followed by teammate Desmond Williams, who finished fifth. Senior Darion Boure claimed second in the triple jump with a distance of 47-08.50.

“Desmond Williams and I both jumped well for the first meet, especially after that long indoor season,” said Rowe. “If I stay healthy and keep going on about my training I don’t see why my teammates and I can’t all hit 24-foot jumps and score for the outdoor conference championship.”

Junior Derek Webb won the javelin with a provisional distance of 206-08, while senior Zach Williams placed third with a provisional as well. Junior Nicklas Polizzi and sophomore Bryan Burns both set personal records in the hammer throw, finishing seventh and ninth respectively.

Meanwhile, some throwers were forced to compete in the dark after a delay caused the discus event to begin at 9 p.m when the temperature had dropped to 41 degrees. Polizzi placed third while Burns placed sixth. Junior Tyler Hovey was 12th.

“It shows which athlete is capable of adapting to different situations and how athletes react when you take them out of their comfort zone,” said Polizzi. “I should have adapted better to the conditions.”

“I think I was just really nervous for a three turn in competition,” said Burns. “I plan on going further by a lot more in the future.”

The Lions will be back on the track tomorrow when the travel to Emporia, Kan., for the ESU Relays.