The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 28, 2012

Fraley breaks Thrash's school record

Jeff Fraley broke the Missouri Southern record in the men’s 100 meters with a time of 10.33 seconds Friday in the finals of the Bill Williams/Bob Laptad Invitational at Fred Hughes Stadium.

Fraley, a freshman from Waynesville, broke the record that had stood for nearly 15 years. The old record was 10.35 seconds set by James Thrash on May 15, 1997. Thrash went on to play football as a receiver and kick returner for the Washington Redskins.

“It’s definitely a big goal,” Fraley said. “Coach (Brian) Schiding is a great coach. That’s the reason I am where I’m at, I believe.”

MSSU’s men were using the meet as a final tuneup for the MIAA conference meet next week at Emporia State, said head coach Tom Rutledge.

“All of our distance runners were not running their usual races,” he said. “They ran shorter distances to work on their foot speed. We’re just keeping them sharp. We’ll give them a run next week.”

In the field events, Dustin Green won the discus and placed second in the hammer throw and shot put. Seth Hackney was third in the shot put.

“The wind was really playing havoc,” Rutledge said. “Seth and Dustin are coming back from hand injuries.”

The longest event of the day — the men’s pole vault — stretched into the night but was won during the day session by Jack Whitt of Oral Roberts with a jump of 17 feet, 0.75 inches.

Whitt, a junior whose personal best is 18-6 set last year, missed on three attempts at 18-1.

“I just tried to stay tall on the runway,” Whitt said. “I jumped really well here last year. I definitely could have jumped higher, but it was just one of those days. The run just wasn’t working out very well.

“It didn’t help that I was in the B group because we’re going to Wichita tonight. I’m going to jump tomorrow.”

His teammate, Dustin Gehrke of Grove, Okla., jumped with Whitt in the B group, cleared 15-3 and placed fifth. Colbie Snyder of Pittsburg State was seventh at 14-11.5.

Snyder, a junior from Joplin, is recovering from an ankle injury, said PSU head coach Russ Jewitt. Snyder cleared 16-10 and placed second in the indoor nationals.

“Then he nearly broke his ankle two weeks later,” Jewett said. “Now he’s struggling to make 15 feet again.”

Among the highlights for the Gorillas were Larissa Richards, who placed second in the discus and third in the shot put. Heidi Smith was second in the shot put.

In the women’s division for MSSU, Nicole Green qualified for the nationals in the shot put with a throw of 48-5. JeAnna Sheppard reached a provisional national mark by running 14.23 in the 100 hurdles.

“It seems like this meet is where I put myself in good position for conference and nationals,” Sheppard said. “I’m going to have to drop another .2 and hopefully go to nationals for the first time. I’m happy with the whole team. They’ve done really well.”

Provisional marks were reached by four Lions pole vaulters — Vanessa Langford, Melanie Bower, Sydney Haase and Ashleigh McFarland.

Jasmin Hughes also reached a provisional mark with her time of 24.4 seconds in the 200. Hughes, a sophomore from Hartville, Mo., had a previous best time of 25.15.

“I ran a lot faster,” she said. “I’ve been hurt so I’m recovering at the right time. I’m ready to beat that 24. I want to get it down to 23. I’m ready to run one that counts, for sure.”

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