Women prepare for South Central Regional race

With a strong showing as the runner’s up at the MIAA championships, the Missouri Southern Lions look to go into battle at the NCAA Division-II South Central Regional meet this weekend. The Lions will be fighting for a Top-3 spot in order to punch their ticket to the NCAA Division-II national championships in Louisville, Ky.

“This is what you train for all year long, to put yourself in position to qualify for nationals” Head Coach Patty Vavra said.

The Lions used last week as an essential recovery time to stay mentally and physically ready for the upcoming meet.

“We will do everything we can to get into the Top-3 teams, so we can have a shot at the National Title” Vavra said.

Though this Lions team is mostly made up of underclassmen, it is the seniors on the team that have shown veteran leadership throughout the entire season.

“The seniors on the team are truly the backbone of this team, they have showed week-in and week-out their ability to lead this team” Vavra said. “They have withstood so many difficulties this season, and in life in general, for these seniors to still be able to lead this team in practices, and meets, is just remarkable.”

According to Vavra, the team as a whole has continually exceeded her expectations.

“I think these girls owe it to themselves to do great at Regionals, they understand the importance of the meet and how MSSU coaches traditionally expect the runners to run a great race, I know my runners will be running with confidence and pride,” she said.

Vavra also explained that the conference meet has given some of her younger runners the confidence they needed in order to run a successful race at Regionals.

“It will take very hard work for this team to take home another Regional Championship,” Vavra said.

The Lions do how ever have success on their side. Vavra has coach the Lions to three straight regional tittles from 2007-2009, and will be looking to add number four to her career if her Lions can capture first place.