From staff reports
HAYS, Kan. —
Missouri Southern’s Jayce Thomas ranked fifth and Kaylee Morgan was sixth after Friday’s multi-events competition at the MIAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Thomas’ roller-coaster day saw him as high as third place and as low as ninth as he accumulated 3,418 points through five events. He’s 68 points behind fourth-place Payson Mayden of Emporia State and 59 points ahead of Pittsburg State’s Jeff Piepenbrink.
“In the grand scheme of things, tomorrow is a stronger day for Jayce than Day 1,” Lions coach Bryan Schiding said. “He’s one of the best hurdlers in the competition, and he’s probably the second best vaulter in the field. I feel Jayce could be in the top three, and if he has a great day ... we’ll just wait and see how it goes.”
Dillon Schrodt of Nebraska-Kearney led at the midway point with 3,811, followed by Central Missouri’s Brent Vogel 3,779 and Daniel McCarty 3,561.
Thomas established personal outdoor bests in the long jump (22 feet, 9 inches) and the high jump (6-8 1/4). His other marks were 11.73 in the 100 meters,. 31-6 in the shot put and 54.63 in the 400.
“He jumped like a true high jumper,” Schiding said. “It was exactly what we needed at the time. ... Overall I’m pretty pleased. He could have done better in some events, but two season bests is nothing to scoff at.”
Morgan set personal bests in all four of her events on Friday — 15.25 in the 100 hurdles, 5-2 1/4 in the high jump, 32-3 1/2 in the shot put and 26.52 in the 200.
“Kaylee improved her time three-tenths of a second in the hurdles, which considering she never ran the hurdles until this year is pretty good,” Lions coach Patty Vavra said. “Then she had a good high jump, threw over 30 feet in the shot and set a personal best in the 200 as well.”
Morgan’s total of 2,792 points is 52 points behind Sheri Kaye Campbell of Lincoln. The three competitors behind Morgan are within 44 points. Zoe Sharplin of Central Missouri is the leader with 3,168.
The Lions’ Miriah Johnson was 19th among 21 entries with 2,315 points. Her Friday marks were 17.17 in the 100 hurdles, 4-10 1/2 in the high jump, 31-2 in the shot and 28.0 in the 200.
“I’m proud of both of the freshmen,” Vavra said. “The first time in conference competition is always hard, and they’ve given me everything I want and then some.”
Friday’s weather had temperatures in the mid 50s with an 18-20 mph win. The temperature will be about the same today, but the wind will increases to 25 mph with gusts of 30. Sunday’s forecast has temperatures in the low 60s and less wind.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Hays is the place to be in the conference this weekend,” Vavra said with a laugh.
“We are in the nicest place in the MIAA right now,” Schiding said. “I’ll take it.”
The meet gets into full swing today, starting at 10 a.m.