From staff reports
Missouri Southern’s indoor track and field season is about to hit full stride.
Starting with this weekend’s Missouri Southern Invitational, the Lions will compete in a meet the next seven weekends, capped by the MIAA Championships on Feb. 22-24 at Central Missouri.
Ten teams join the Lions for the MSSU Invitational. Competition begins at 2:30 p.m. today and 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Both Missouri Southern squads are ranked in the coaches’ Division II preseason poll. Coach Tom Rutledge’s men’s team is No. 13, and coach Patty Vavra’s women’s team is No. 25. Other MIAA teams in the men’s poll are Lincoln (8), Central Missouri (10) and Pittsburg State (19). Lincoln is second and Central Missouri 10th in the women’s poll.
Lions jumper Darion Boure, a sophomore from St. Louis, has the best Division II mark nationally in the triple jump at 49 feet, 5 inches.
Sprinter Jeff Fraley is third in the 200 meters (21.74 seconds) and ninth in the 60 (6.87), and Jazz Allen in 13th in the 60 hurdles (8.26).
In other field events, Jayce Thomas is seventh in the high jump (6-81⁄4), and Evan Moore is 10th in the shot put (53-13⁄4) and 13th in the weight throw (56-93⁄4).
Kaylee Morgan, freshman from Carthage, is fifth in the long jump (18-6) to lead five Lion women athletes who are nationally ranked.
Brittni Reagan is eighth in the long jump (18-41⁄4) and 12th in the triple jump (38-03⁄4). Melanie Bower and Ashleigh McFarland are 17th in the pole vault (11-53⁄4), and Jackie Wallace is 18th in the 60 hurdles (8.95).