From staff reports
Pittsburg State thrower Larissa Richards has the top qualifying mark in three events for the MIAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The three-day event starts at 2 p.m. today in Hays, Kan., with men’s and women’s multi-events. Competition begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Gorillas are the defending men’s team champion, and they are one the pre-meet favorites this year along with Central Missouri, Lincoln and Missouri Southern.
“It looks on paper to be so close between the schools that it could come down to the mile relay on Sunday,” PSU coach Russ Jewett said in a press release. “It will be an epic battle like last year between the top four teams, and it likely will be much, much closer between the schools.”
In the field events John Talbert is seeded first in the discus (186 feet, 8 inches) and is second in the hammer throw (190-11). Garrett Cantrell is the top seed in the javelin (197-10).
Keenan Soles has the top mark in the long jump (24-31⁄2), and Marquise Cushion is favored in the triple jump (50-01⁄2).
On the track, Adam Volkert has the fastest time in the 10,000 meters (30:23.21).
“There are only a very few events where we don’t think our men can score points,” Jewett said. “We feel like we bring a balanced attack to the championships. Obviously we need to de well in all our events, but especially so in events where UCM and MSSU are competing. There will be key swing points in those events.”
In the women’s division, Richards is the top seed in the shot put (49-03⁄4), discus (181-0) and hammer (172-8).
Erica Testa and Hannah DeVries are seeded second in the 3000 steeplechase and 5000, respectively.
“The throws can really help us get started and set the tone each day,” Jewett said. “Larissa Richards is a competitive performer that her teammates rally around. Erica Testa also is a leader for us who will inspire her teammates.
“I think the women’s team race is a foregone conclusion that Lincoln will win the meet and may double up the second-place team on points. Our women won’t have a chance to win the meet, but they have a good chance to finish second. It will be a tight battle between us, Central Missouri, Emporia State and Missouri Southern.”