The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

May 26, 2012

Nicole Green leads MSSU on final day of national meet

PUEBLO, Colo. — Another Green shined for Missouri Southern on Saturday at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The day after Dustin Green placed fourth in the men’s discus, the Lions’ Nicole Green finished fourth in the women’s shot put to become a five-time All-American in the event.

Green, a senior from Carthage, threw 49 feet, 9 inches on her final attempt. Kayla Muskens of Central Missouri went 52-6 1/2 on her first throw and won the event.

“Nicole had two great throws,” Lions coach Patty Vavra said. “She was in the first flight, and the first flight opened up with some great throws. Her last throw in the prelims put her into fourth place, and she was able to keep it. It was her last throw that she threw her career best outdoors.

“What a way to finish her career. She struggled a little late in the year, but she’s always had that knack to be able to compete well at the national championships. What an impact she’s had for our program.”

Lisa Vengels completed her Lions career by tying for 13th place in the high jump at 5-7. A total of 11 jumpers cleared 5-8, and two jumpers from Western State went 5-11 1/2 to finish 1-2.

“There were some great jumps today,” Vavra said. “She almost would have had to have the best jump of her life to get into the top seven. It was very competitive out there, but she had a great career for us. You would have liked to see her on the podium, but it was not to be today.”

Missouri Southern’s men picked up two All-America honors on the final day of the meet as Jeff Fraley finished seventh in the 200 meters (20.92 seconds) and Darion Boure was eighth in the triple jump (49-10).

“Jeff Fraley two weeks ago had a slight hamstring pull and a knee problem,” Lions men’s coach Tom Rutledge said. “Missing that week probably cost him a little bit, but he came back and had a great meet.

“Darion Boure in the triple jump, he almost could have won the event. He had a big jump but he scratched just a little bit.”

In the men’s pole vault, the Lions’ Michael Juergens was 13th after clearing 15-7. This came one day after he was taken to the emergency room with food poisoning.

“He cleared the opening height, and then he started throwing up again,” Rutledge said. “Those things happen when you’re on the road. He spent the day before either in the hospital or his room.”

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