There is no place like home



Junior pole vaulter Ashleigh McFarland clears her height during the MSSU Lion Invite last year on Feb. 2, in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

The Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invite brings the Southern track team home for the first outdoor meet on Joplin soil, as the team looks to continue the roll experienced in competition this season.

“It is important for us to perform well this weekend because we have conference in a week,” said freshman Emily Harris.  “We need to show any conference schools that show up we are ready to win.”

The roll continued for the Lions last weekend as the team split between the KU Relays, UCM Mule Relays and the Dewey Allgood Invite, in which the squad combined for yet another round of provisional times and top-tier finishes.

Opening the action for the Lions were three runners who traveled to Mt. San Antonio, Calif., to compete in the Mt. Sac Relays.

Leading the group was junior Eric Schott who made his trip worthwhile by destroying the former school record (30:03.57) in the 10k by 24 seconds (29:39.10) on his way to finishing fifth in the Olympic Development Elite race.  His finish was made more impressive by the fact that the only finishers in front of Schott were three Division I runners and the event winner, who is a part of the Mexican National Team.

Next for the Lions was a trip to the 2014 Missouri S&T/Dewey Allgood Invitational where the men’s team led the way with 12 top-three finishes.  The Lions were headed by the effort of athletes in the 5k where Southern finished in all of the top five spots with junior Andrew Webster taking the victory.  Behind Webster were freshman Tyler Rush, sophomore Adrian Todd, senior Jake Benton and freshman Ryan Jackson.

Also ending the meet with victories were senior Clark Tanksley, winning the high jump with a height of 6-09.50, and sophomore Nathan Henry, who won the 3k steeple in a time of 9:54.48.

The story for the women’s team was much the same as the Lions claimed the top position in another five events.

Spearheading the attack for the women was junior Amber White, who won both the 200m (24.85) and the 400m (55.68) in impressive fashion.

Southern also dominated the podium in the women’s high jump with senior Whitney Hardy taking the top honor with a height of 5-08, followed by junior Shelby Sutherland, who finished second.

Kaylee Morgan was strong as well, finishing second in the long jump with a distance of 19-00.75, with sophomore Brittani Regan and junior Shelby Newell also jumping into the top five.