Track/Field Lions to host MSSU Festival

Senior heptathlete Phillip Horn competes in the high jump. Horn finished third in the heptathlon.

Jim Quist

Senior heptathlete Phillip Horn competes in the high jump. Horn finished third in the heptathlon.

After inclement weather delayed the start of the outdoor season, the Missouri Southern outdoor track and field teams gear up to host tonight’s MSSU Track and Field Festival.

“We haven’t had an outdoor meet this season,” said Women’s Head Coach Patty Vavra. “We’ve had a lot of preparation time. We’re anxious to get this season under way.”

The meet will begin at 2 p.m. today with field events, followed by running events at 4 p.m.

The men’s team will be without junior high jumper Corey Reynolds, who is out with an injury, and will likely see the same outcome with freshman newcomer Dawson Urrutia.

Junior distance runners, Courtney Waltbillig and Ashley Bunch and senior Kara Eckard, competed in the first day of the University of Missouri Relays last week, before the second day was cancelled due to weather.

Waltbillig finished third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:36. Bunch finished seventh with a time of 18:19.

“Ashley missed most of the indoor season due to an injury,” Vavra said. “She is getting back to her level of fitness and is competing well.”

Eckard competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase finishing third with a time of 11:25.

“For the conditions of the meet, they ran very well,” Vavra said. “Courtney and Kara ran really close qualifying marks.”

Both teams were also represented two weeks ago at the Division II Indoor National Championships.

Sophomore Nicole Green, juniors Ciara Lipsey, Channell Lloyd, Shank and Emilie Mieseler competed for the women. Senior Phillip Horn represented the men’s team.

Horn finished third in the pole vault competition, along with winning the 60-meter hurdles.

Horn finished third overall in the heptathlon earning All-America Honors.

Lloyd placed eighth in the triple jump. Lloyd earned All-America honors with her jump of 37 feet, ten and a half inches. Lipsey earned All-America honors with an eighth place finish in the pole vault.

“Channell and Ciara competed very well,” Vavra said. “It was their first year at nationals. They were able to see the competition level at the national meet. I’m really proud of them.

“Hopefully, we’ll see them back at the national meet in the future.”