Vavra sends two athletes to nationals

The Missouri Southern Lions have had a successful season according to Head Coach Patty Vavra.

Two athletes on the team still have some unfinished business to attend to this weekend at the 2011 NCAA Division-II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

Juniors Lisa Vengels and Nicole Green have qualified for the national championship. Vengels qualified in the high jump, and Green qualified in the shot-put.

Vengels is coming into the meet with school records under her belt, as well as a number two ranking in Division-II high jump.

“I wanted to have a PR this season. I’ve done that. I wanted to become an All-MIAA athlete, and make the All-Region team.

“I’ve done that as well,” Vengels said. “Now it’s time for me to try and become an All-American and to reach a height of six feet in the high jump.”

Vengels credits her success at Southern to Coach Bryan Schiding.

“Without his help I don’t see myself jumping as effective as I am now,” she said. “I have really improved my jumps over the past three weeks, and I have him to thank.

“I feel really good and extremely excited to make it back to nationals. This conference is constantly loaded with talented athletes.

“I can’t wait to compete against some of them again, along with the best jumpers in Division-II.”

Green will be heading into nationals as the fourth-ranked thrower in Division-II shot-put.

The junior is making a return back to the national meet as she qualified last season as well.

“I learned I have a lot of inner motivation this season that I thought I didn’t have,” she said. “Ever since the first meet I promised myself to work harder in the workouts and stay longer in the weight room. As long as I am motivated to do something, I will work hard to do it.”

The national championship is the climax for the season, and Green is cherishing the moment.

Green has her eyes set on some particular goals; she wants to throw 50 feet and wants to claim the school record in the shot-put, which is currently 51 feet eight and three quarter inches.

Green credits her success to coaches Jamie Burnham and Tom Rutledge.

“Jamie helps me break down my throwing techniques and helps build a good foundation to gradually improve upon,” Green said.

“Rutledge has been really good in providing motivation and helping me out in my weight training and workouts.

“Both coaches make me who I am.”