Harris tops school record

Emily Harris finished the race for Southern on Friday, Feb. 6 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Dana Roberson, Amber White, Kindra Emberton, and Emily Harris placed first in the womens distance medley.

Kristen Stacy/The Chart

Emily Harris finished the race for Southern on Friday, Feb. 6 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center. Dana Roberson, Amber White, Kindra Emberton, and Emily Harris placed first in the women’s distance medley.

Matt Barney, Sports Writer

The Missouri Southern women’s track and field team competed across the Midwest last weekend in one of the final chances to qualify athletes for the national meet.

On Friday, the Lions’ distance team ran in the Nebraska tune-up in Lincoln while short distance and field athletes competed in Warrensburg for the UCM Classic.

Elsewhere, a pair of Lion jumpers were in Fayetteville Saturday for the Arkansas Open, where they picked up two provisional marks.

In Lincoln, sophomore Emily Harris broke a 12-year record held by MSSU Athletics Hall of Famer Margaret Miklovic-Lyons. Harris ran the 3 kilometer in a time of 9:52.78, a provisional qualifying time and the fastest in the conference this season.

“It feels good that my training is paying off, and I was able to contribute to school history,” said Harris. “I was really happy to cut 10 seconds off of my best time. That race sets me up for a good chance in scoring points in the conference.”

Meanwhile, in Warrensburg junior Melanie Bower pole-vaulted a provisional height of 12-06.00, winning the event. That mark is third highest in school history and eighth in Division II this season. Bower’s win and provisional was one of five for the Lions at the UCM Classic. On Tuesday, the MIAA named Bower the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.

The Lions now turn their attention to the MIAA Conference Championship meet that starts today at 3 p.m. at the University of Central Missouri.

“We’ve been getting better week by week, which has been our goal all season,” said head coach Patty Vavra. “Now that conference is here, we have to go out and make all that hard work count. Historically, we have been able to go into conference and turn in some excellent performances that people may not have expected, and I think that will be the case again this year.”

The most recent coaches poll, has the Lions ranked as the No. 36 team in Division II, a spot they hope to improve upon.

“Our conference is a tough one, but I have the confidence that our girls will come out and show what a great team we are,” said freshman Allie Hekemeyer. “We have the potential of placing pretty high, and I know we will do some great things.”