Lions Compete at UCM

Kaylee Morgan jumps hurdles at the Missouri Southern indoor track meet on Saturday, January 16 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center

Kristen Stacy/The Chart

Kaylee Morgan jumps hurdles at the Missouri Southern indoor track meet on Saturday, January 16 in Leggett & Platt Athletic Center

The Missouri Southern women’s track and field team was in action at the UCM Invite in Warrensburg Saturday for an early season warm-up test. The contest was the third meet of the indoor track period for the Lions.

Junior jumper and sprinter Amber White was the only Lion to win an event Saturday amongst a limited roster of competitors. The Cuba, Mo., native finished first in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:27.33, 0.59 seconds ahead of second place.

The Lions also had six of the top 13 long jumpers of the day, including junior Kaylee Morgan, who finished third, and freshman Allie Heckemeyer, who claimed fifth place. Freshman Victoria Foley placed fourth in the weight throw along with senior Shelby Newell, who placed fourth in the triple jump.

Southern placed sixth overall with a team score of 30.50 in one of the few team-scored meets of the regular season.

“Every time we compete, especially this early in the indoor season, is an opportunity to measure where we’re at and what things we need to improve upon,” said head coach Patty Vavra. “None of our distance runners competed after the long season they had with cross country. They were able to open up here at home, but to give them a weekend off will be a great advantage for them … they’ll compete this weekend at KU.”

The Lions are in Lawrence, Kan., today for the annual Jayhawk Classic where they will compete against Division I and II competitors alike.

“I’m running the 3 k[ilometer], which is my favorite race for indoor,” said senior distance runner Kaitlyn Belisle. “I’m excited to be running at a meet with good athletes, to have competition to chase down. It’s a great opportunity to run a PR and even get a provisional time so I can qualify for nationals. I’ve had great workouts lately so I’m pretty positive about the race.”

Despite competing at a Division I meet, the athletes don’t see coming from a smaller school as a disadvantage.

“DI athletes put their uniform on just like I do; not all of them have performed better than every DII athlete,” said senior Kindra Emberton. “That is just a stamp they place on our schools; it’s all about the athlete. DI athletes are great, don’t get me wrong, but they are not undefeatable.”

The a.m. field session for The Jayhawk Classic begins at 9 a.m.with track starting at 10. The p.m. session that will be track only gets under way at 5.