The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 1, 2014

Southern's Fraley continues to lower 60-meter dash time

Running indoors is a new experience for Drew Buckner.

He made the most of it by running the fastest time in the second section of the men’s 800 meters Saturday at the Lion Invitational and Multis at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.

Buckner, a freshman from Lamar, had a time of 2 minutes, 0.93 seconds, about five seconds off the time he would need to gain a provisional mark for the NCAA Division II national meet.

“It was a good feeling. I’m not the happiest with the way I ran,” said Buckner, who was 17th overall. “It was a long training season. I was getting pretty anxious over Christmas break.

“The other thing was I just was nervous about indoors, period,” he said. “I had never run indoors before. It’s definitely different.”

Buckner’s performance was one of several highlights for the Lions. Jeff Fraley missed an automatic qualifying mark in the 60 meters by two one-hundredths of a second with a time of 6.76 seconds.

“The last couple of weeks, I’ve had 6.79, 6.77, 6.76. I’ve been dropping by hundredths, so hopefully it gets there,” Fraley said. “It’s nice to be averaging right around where I’ve been. It’s real early, though.”

Darion Boure placed third in the triple jump with a leap of 47 feet, 9 inches — good for a provisional qualifying distance but off his season’s best.

“Right now, I think I should be at a better mark, but I’ve had some minor setbacks,” he said. “I jumped 14.73 (meters) last week, so I’d like to be better than that or right around that range.”

Boure’s better jump (48-4) came last week at the Jayhawk Classic in Lawrence, Kan., and at the time was ranked eighth best in NCAA Division II.

Anthony Price was second in the 400 meters with a time of 49.90 seconds, just 11 one-hundredths of a second away from a provisional mark. Clark Tanksley was injured in the first section of the 400 and did not finish.

Pittsburg State’s men compiled a list of highlights as well. Adam Volkert was third in the mile with a time of 4:15.05, good for a provisional qualifying mark and a lifetime best.

Marquise Cushon was second in the triple jump with a provisional mark of 48.4.75, an indoor lifetime best.

“That was a really good performance,” said PSU head coach Russ Jewett. “Marquise is competition ready.”

Cushon’s jump came a day after Keenan Soles set a lifetime best and an automatic qualifying mark in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 8 inches.

“He’s as good a leader for us as he is a long jumper. That says a lot,” Jewett said.

Jeff Piepenbrink of PSU won the pole vault with a jump of 17 feet, 1 inch. Missouri’s Southern’s Brady Melugin was second with an automatic qualifying mark of 16-9.25, and Michael Juergens was third with a provisional mark of 16-5.25.

In the women’s division, Missouri Southern’s Kylie Cornman won the shot put with a toss of 47-3 that was just short of her season’s best.

Brittani Reagan led a group of Lions in the triple jump with a leap of 37-11.5, good for second place.

“All four were in the finals, so there’s a lot of great depth there,” said Lions women’s head coach Patty Vavra.

Reagan was joined in the finals by Amber White, who was third; Shelby Newell, who was fifth, and Mahogany Jones, who was sixth.

White won the 400 with a provisional time of 57.25 seconds. Emily Harris was second in the mile with a time of 5:10.04, and Jackie Wallace was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles. Whitney Hardy tied for third in the high jump.

“It’s definitely a big meet and we have a wide variety of skill sets,” Vavra said. “There are some great athletes here.”

The Lions won the 4x400 relay in 3:57.02 with a team of Jasmin Hughes, Kindra Emberton, White and Sydney Potts.

The time broke a school record (3:57.35) that had stood for 10 years.

In the pole vault, Sandi Morris, competing unattached, broke the women’s arena record with a jump of 14-9. The old record was 13-1 1/2 set by April Steiner of Arkansas in 2003.

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