Southern Track to Compete at Nationals


John Davidson | The Chart

Distance runners [left to right] Emily Harris, Dana Roberson, Addie Mengwasser and Shelby Werner push the pace during one of the races at the MSSU Open held in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on Jan. 16. The Lions won three events in the first indoor meet of the semester.

The Missouri Southern men’s and women’s track and field teams have sent members of each squad to Birmingham, Ala., for the NCAA Division II national meet.

The men’s team’s success this season has been exemplified by athletes such as senior Jeff Fraley, who will be running in the 60 and 200 meter dashes. The triple jumping duo of senior Darion Boure and freshman teammate Kennan Harrison qualified fourth and 13th, respectively, for the meet. The final qualifier is sophomore Morgan Hold, who qualified 15th in the country in the pole vault.

Sophomore Emily Harris leads the Lions women into nationals after qualifying second in the nation in the mile run. Senior Kindra Emberton will run the 800m after qualifying sixth in the event while 11th seeded senior Amber White will compete in the 400m. Junior pole vaulter Melanie Bower, seeded ninth, and the distance medley relay team of Robertson, White, Emberton and Harris, seeded 10th, round out the Lions delegation.

The latest National Team Computer Rankings have the Lions men up two spots from last week to No. 14 in the country, while the women vaulted 14 other teams to rank No. 18 this week.

“Our girls are ready to go out there and show everyone what we are capable of,” said head coach Patty Vavra. “Nationals gives us a chance to make our school proud.”

The meet, hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Birmingham CrossPlex, gets under way Friday at 9 a.m. and will last until Saturday evening. Viewers can watch the meet live at