By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
The last tuneup before next week’s conference track and field meets in southwest Missouri is scheduled for today when Joplin and a long list of other area teams converge at the Girard (Kan.) Invitational.
The field includes Carl Junction, Carthage, College Heights, Nevada, Sheldon and Webb City.
“This is always a chance for us to put our kids in the places we’re going to run them in at conference,” said Joplin head coach Kasey Pliler. “Up until now, we’ve just kind of played around.”
Kansas schools have more time to prepare. The CNC League meet is scheduled for May 9 at Riverton.
All eight CNC schools — Baxter Springs, St. Mary’s-Colgan, Columbus, Frontenac, Galena, Riverton, Southeast and the host Trojans — are entered in the meet, which is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. unless it is changed because of the liklihood of rain.
Representing the Southeast Kansas League are Chanute, Fort Scott, Parsons and Pittsburg. Other entries from Kansas are Baldwin, Circle of Towanda, Oswego and St. Paul. Joining the field from Oklahoma are Grove and Miami.
“It’s always nice to see different competition and compete against new people,” Pliler said.
The Ozark Conference meet will be at Springfield and the Central Ozark Conference Large Division meet will be at Ozark. Both meets are scheduled for Thursday.
Lamar headed north
Lamar’s boys, who won the Aldo Sebben Relays in a cold rain Tuesday night at Missouri State, will also see different competition when they run today at the Joe Falcon Invitational at Belton.
Other expected to participate include Raymore-Peculiar, Warrensburg, Belton, Kearney and Kansas City Central.
“The reason we scheduled it is because we lost so many meets early in the season,” said Lamar coach Rodney Baldridge. “We competed really well under the conditions (at Springfield). I was real happy with how we competed.”