The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 16, 2013

Lions win nine events in men's outdoor track season debut

REDLANDS, Calif. — Travel plans didn’t go quite like expected for Missouri Southern’s men’s track and field team.

The 16 athletes and coaching staff arrived in Las Vegas later than expected, and on the drive to the University of the Redlands, one of the vans had a flat tire in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

“I have done it all now. I’ve had a flat tire in the Mojave Desert,” said Missouri Southern coach Tom Rutledge, who has announced he will retire at the end of this school year.

But despite the late arrival on site, the Lions made a strong showing in their outdoor debut, winning nine events and posting six provisional mark.

“There was not a lot of time to warm up,” Rutledge said. “The guys adapted well and competed well. I’m pleased about that.

“The weather was perfect and the facilities — this is a Division III school — are awesome.”

Dustin Green, a senior, won two events and two provisionals — the hammer throw (180 feet, 6 inches) and the discus (168-0). Nicklas Polizzi took second in the discus at 147-11.

Seth Hackney earned a provisional when he won the shot put (54-10 1/4), followed by teammates Evan Moore (54-5 1/4, also a provisional) and Green (52-11 1/2, another provisional).

On the track Jeff Fraley won the 100 meters in a provisional time of 10.48 seconds, and Erron Holley was third (10.79).

Anthony Price prevailed in the 400 meters (50.03), and Jake Benton won the 10,000 in 32:43.90. Andrew Webster placed second in the 1500 (4:08.40), and Jayce Thomas was third in the 110 high hurdles (15.16).

The Lions 4x100 relay team of Holley, Fraley, Clark Tanksley and Price won in 41.59, just shy of a provisional. Tanksley also won the high jump (6-6), and Brady Melugin was fourth in the pole vault (14-6).

In other field events, Darion Boure won the long jump at 23-2 1/2, and Tanksley, Thomas and Dominique Jenkins finished 3-4-5 in the event. Zack Williams was eighth in the javelin (149-5).

The Lions returned to Las Vegas at 2 a.m. Saturday, and eight hours later they were competing in the Las Vegas Invitational.

“The guys were a little dead-legged,” Rutledge said. “We did not have a great meet. We did OK going back-to-back ... we have to get used to it anyway. We won several events but the competition was not as good as I thought it would be. We had better competition at the Redlands meet.”

Complete results from the Las Vegas meet were not available Saturday night.

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