The return of the lion

Junior Corey Reynolds competes in the high jump during the Fazolis/Baymont Inn Invitational on Jan. 17. Reynolds finished fourth.

Dani White

Junior Corey Reynolds competes in the high jump during the Fazolis/Baymont Inn Invitational on Jan. 17. Reynolds finished fourth.

Meagan Morrison

After earning two national provisional marks, the Missouri Southern men’s indoor track and field team will compete in tonight’s University of Arkansas Razorback Invitational looking to earn more.

“We’re going to use this meet to see where we’re at,” said men’s Head Coach Tom Rutledge. “It’s going to be competitive and we’re looking to come out with at least a provisional.”

Southern hosted its annual Fazolis/Baymont Inn Invitational last weekend. The meet hosted schools such as Missouri State, Southwest Baptist, and Division I University of Arkansas.

“I’m pretty pleased with how our meet went,” Rutledge said. “We didn’t run everybody. We had a long cross county season. We’ll run some of the freshmen for the first time at Arkansas.”

Senior Seager Wilson won the pole vault competition with a height of 15 feet, seven inches. The height gave Wilson a provisional into the National Meet.

“Seager did really well for us,” Rutledge said. “It’s a good sign this early in the year.”

Junior Corey Shumate and senior Phillip Horn finished fifth and sixth in the pole vault.

Horn also finished fifth in the long jump.

“Phillip (Horn) is looking strong in the heptathlon events,” Rutledge said. “He did an awesome job this past weekend and I’m hoping to get qualifying marks out of him at Arkansas.”

Freshman Taylor McClelland finished sixth in the long jump and freshman David Selby finished 11th. Selby is the brother of former Southern All-American Jessica Selby-Tallman.

McClelland also competed in the triple jump, finishing sixth. Freshman Nicco Mendes finished fifth.

Mendes was injured in the long jump when his hand caught a spike, resulting in six stitches. He returned the next day to compete in the triple jump and hurdle.

“You know his hand had to have been throbbing,” Rutledge said. “But, that shows you the type of athletes we have here.”

Junior Corey Reynolds, who had a provisional jump at the University of Arkansas, finished fourth in the high jump. Reynolds had a jump of six feet, six and three quarter inches.

The team saw the return of Senior Dustin Dixon. Dixon returned to the track and field team after missing last season due to a severe ankle break in the 2007 cross country season.

“Dustin looked strong,” Rutledge said. “He’s healed, but with any injury we’re making sure it’s OK. I’m very pleased with how he’s doing. It’s nice to have him back.

Dixon competed in the 5,000-meter run finishing second with a time of 15:23 and fourth in the distance medley. The distance medley team consisted of Dixon, freshman Chris Bell, junior Derek Wright and freshman D’Angelo Wood.

Also returning is sophomore Chris Brown. Brown is returning from breaking his leg a year ago.

“The guy can jump,” Rutledge said. “He just needs to get his rhythm back.”

Freshman Seth Hackney earned a second- place finish in the shot put, recording 51 feet, eight and a half inches.

“Seth had a good weekend,” Rutledge said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Sophomore Kyle Hancock finished seventh in the weight throw with a distance of 49 feet, one and three quarter inches. Hancock also finished third in the shot put.

“We may have a lot of freshmen, but I promise you we will be competitive,” Rutledge said. “The freshmen need to step up and do their job. Bottom Line.”