The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 13, 2013

MSSU's Juergens clears 17 feet at PSU

The Joplin Globe

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Missouri Southern senior Michael Juergens cleared 17 feet in the pole vault Saturday at the fifth annual David Suenram Gorilla Classic.

Juergens, from St. Clair, cleared the bar on his final attempt to beat the Gorillas’ Jeff Piepenbrink, who missed three times at that height. Juergens ranks third in Division II this season.

“Michael Juergens is starting to cook,” Lions coach Tom Rutledge said. “He’s climbing poles, getting his confeidence level up. We even had a freshman, Brady Melugin, go 16 feet (to place third). He had a hot day.”

The Lions’ Dustin Green won the shot put at 56 feet, 41⁄2 inches, and he took third in the discus with a season-best throw of 180-2.

“Having Dustin Green back is really enjoyable,” Rutledge said. “Also Taylor McClelland went 23-8 in the long jump (to place second). We’re going to have nine or 10 people in the nationals, if not more.”

Seth Hackney placed third in the shot put .

On the track, the Lions’ Erron Holley was second in the 100 (10.76), and third places went to Clark Tanksley in the 400, Andrew Webster in the 5000 and Jazz Allen in the 110 high hurdles.

Missouri Southern’s women also registered two victories in the field events — Ashleigh McFarland in the pole vault (11-8) and Brittani Reagan in the triple jump (39-33⁄4).

“Brittani had a great series of triple jumps,” Lions coach Patty Vavra said. “That ranks her 16th in the country. She had a nice long jump as well (18-31⁄4 to place fourth). Kylie Cornman took second in the shot put with another good throw (46-11).

“Ashleigh McFarland got her first win today. She had a couple of good attempts at 12 feet but didn’t make it.”

“We had a couple of career bests in the jumps — Shelby Newell in the triple jump (36-43⁄4 to take fourth place), Taitum Mead in the long jump (18-51⁄4 to finish second). The high jump went well. Although we didn’t win, they became a lot more consistent. Whitney Hardy and Shelby Sutherland (each cleared 5-41⁄4 to place third and fifth, respectively) jumped well today.”

The Lions’ Cassie Kendrick took third in the 5,000 meters, and the Lions’ 4x400 relay team came in third.