From staff reports
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Michael Juergens and Seth Hackney certainly saved their best for last.
The Missouri Southern teammates established personal bests on Saturday while earning All-American honors at the NCAA Division II indoor track and field championships at the CrossPlex Complex.
Juergens finished third in the pole vault, clearing 16 feet, 83⁄4 inches. He was seeded 15th entering the competition but wound up third behind Jordan Yamoah of Texas A&M-Kingsville (17-41⁄2) and Cameron Daugherty of Slippery Rock (17-03⁄4).
“He had a great day vaulting. We thought he was going to win it,” Lions coach Tom Rutledge said. “Two guys went 17-plus, but Michael’s 16-8, to get third place is solid.
“He’s been trying to adjust to a bigger stick all year. He kept on working, he stuck it well and had a great day vaulting.”
Pittsburg State’s Colbie Snyder and Jeff Piepenbrink each failed to clear a height.
Hackney placed seventh in the shot put at 56-1. His throw of 55-111⁄4 in the preliminaries earned him a spot in the finals, and he surpassed that mark on his second attempt in the finals.
“It was his first time he ever over the 17-meter mark,” Rutledge said.
Two other Lions wound up in ninth place — one spot below All-America recognition.
Darion Boure was ninth in the triple jump, going 47-81⁄2 after fouling on his first two attempts. Jayce Thomas took ninth in the heptathlon with 5,094 points. Thomas did set a personal best of 8.32 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, good for 903 points.
The performances by Juergens and Hackney earned eight points for the Lions, good for a tie for 21st place in the team standings.
Lions freshman Brittani Reagan came within one jump of becoming an All-American in the women’s triple jump.
She was in eighth place at 39-111⁄4 until Melissa Walker of Mary University went 40-21⁄4 on her final attempt to grab the final spot on the medals stand.
“Brittani had a couple of great jumps,” Lions coach Patty Vavra said. “She had two PRs, pulled off one that was almost a half a foot farther. It’s disappointing for her, but what a season she’s had. As a freshman, she’s shown up big the last two days.”
Missouri Southern’s women were tied for 31st place with five points after Kylie Cornman’s fourth-place finish in the shot put on Friday.