Track looks forward to Championships


Willis Brown

Anthony Price

Sophomore Kaylee Morgan started off the week for the Southern track and field team by placing second in the 2014 Cowley Tiger Heptathlon last Wednesday and Thursday with a provisional total of 4,685 points.

That number is good enough to put her in the top 10 nationally, where she now sits seventh. The total also moved Morgan into third place all-time in the Lions’ record books, as her total came within 200 points of record holder Lisa Vengels’ mark (4,856). Still, everything in track is a work in progress.

“This week, coach Vavra has cut back my interval workouts,” said Morgan, “and really has me focusing on improving my 800m time.”

Next the Lions traveled to Pittsburg, Kan., where once again Morgan led the Southern women as she finished second overall in the long jump with a distance of 19-01.5, an event in which the Lions took four of the top 10 spots. Fellow sophomore Brittani Regan, junior Taitum Mead and junior Shelby Newell finished third, sixth and seventh respectively.

Senior Kylie Cornman also had a strong showing as she placed second in the shot put with a provisional distance of 44-11.50, and finished seventh in the hammer with a toss of 151-01.

Finishing near the top of their event as well were junior Sydney Potts and sophomore Dana Roberson, who both placed in the top five of the 800m.

“We have the talent and the heart to have a very successful year,” said Morgan. “We just have to go out and do it.”

The Lion men’s side also picked up provisionals, four total, at the 2014 Pittsburg State Gorilla Classic, one coming in high jump as senior Clark Tanksley cleared 6-08.25 to finish in second place.

Two more were earned in the pole vault event as senior Raymond Woldvedt and freshman Morgan Hold earned fourth and fifth place finishes.

The last provisional came from junior thrower Nicklas Polizzi in the discus with a distance of 166 feet, enough to finish in sixth place overall.

Also performing well for the men were junior Darion Boure, senior Jazz Allen, junior Zach Williams and a trio of distance runners in the 5k.

For Boure, it was a second place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 50-01.75, and a fifth place in the long jump at 22-11.75.

Allen picked up a pair of third place finishes, one in the 110m hurdles at 14.58 and the second in the 400m hurdles.

Javelin was the event for Williams, where he finished in the seventh position behind a distance of 185-07.

Possibly the most impressive was the Lions’ finish in the 5k as Southern earned the third, fourth and fifth places. Leading the group was senior Jake Benton, followed by sophomore Adrian Todd and freshman Ryan Jackson.

Next up for the Lions is a week filled with opportunity as the squad splits between the two remaining meets of the week. The first is the Dewey Allgood invite in Rolla, and the other, the UCM Mule Relays, in Warrensburg. All the action gets under way on Saturday as the Lions look to continue preparation for the championship meets at the end of the year.

“The team is going to have great back to back meets these next couple of weeks,” said senior Jake Benton. “That’ll lead us into conference where we can get some retribution from Pitt and bring home the title.”