Runners search for final improvements

Matt Barney, Sports writer

The Missouri Southern men’s track and field team competed in two separate events last weekend.

The majority of the team was in Norman, Okla., for the Oklahoma Baptist Invite, while senior sprinter Jeff Fraley competed in the Tyson Invitational at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

In Oklahoma, senior jumper Darion Boure won the triple jump and broke his school record with a distance of 50-03 3/4.

The mark, a provisional, beat his closest competitor by 9 1/2 inches and ranks him third nationally. Boure and fellow jumper Kennan Harrison now have two of the top 11 marks in the event this year.

Junior Erron Holley won the 200-meter dash with a provisional time of 22.12. Once converted, that ranks him 20th nationally. Sophomore Bryan Burns placed third in the weight throw with a distance of 53-05.00.

“It wasn’t good at all,” said Burns. “I felt confident going into Saturday but I just couldn’t perform like I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, placing is good and I’m grateful for placing. But every week I compete, I look to better my PR and if I don’t do that, at least get close to it.”

At the Tyson, Fraley finished 12 overall in the 60-meter finals with a time of 6.73 seconds, an automatic qualifying mark. He finished 39 in the 400m with a time of 48.03.

“There was a lot of really good competition,” Fraley said. “The majority of the athletes were from the SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 schools … I was more confident going into the competition, but in each race there is still room for improvement. I just need to learn to run a little smarter and pace better.”

Next up is another split competition. The distance team will compete in the Nebraska Tune Up in Lincoln, while the rest of the team will compete at the UCM Classic in Warrensburg.

With only one week before the MIAA Indoor Championship meet, the team has limited opportunities to work out the kinks, but they do have a chance to acclimate to the facility before the all-important conference meet.

“When you know the end of the season is so close, everyone gets this anxious feeling,” said senior co-captain Jacob Rowe. “My goal is to get used to Central’s runway and work on some minor adjustments for conference. Getting comfortable at the venue is always an advantage.”