The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 25, 2013

MSSU women take second, men third at MIAA indoor track

The Joplin Globe

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — The Missouri Southern track teams wrapped up impressive weekends at the 2013 MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday at the UCM Multipurpose Building.

But MSSU men’s coach Tom Rutledge couldn’t help but think it could have been better.

The Lion women claimed second behind a powerful Lincoln squad and the men took third. But the Southern men, who were in contention all weekend, were passed on the final day by champion Central Missouri and second-place Pittsburg State.

“We didn’t score points in the distance races like we always do,” Rutledge said. “Normally, we’ll score 20 or 25 points in the distances on a bad day. Today we scored two.”

Rutledge said his distance runners were never fully able to recuperate after finishing a late cross country season with the national championships on Nov. 21.

“We just never got our legs back after cross country season,” he said. “And that’s my fault. I should have found a way to get them ready.”

Central Missouri finished with 122.5 points for the title, followed by Pittsburg State with 106.5. The Gorillas entered the day in third place with 31 points.

The MSSU women lost their grip on first place, but it was to a Lincoln team that was dominant in the sprints.

Lincoln scored 190.5 points, followed by MSSU’s 114. Central Missouri and Emporia State tied for third with 67.5 while Pittsburg State was fifth with 54.

“To place second in this league, behind a very, very good Lincoln team, is nothing to hang your head about,” MSSU women’s coach Patty Vavra said. “That Lincoln team is probably in the top two in the nation. I was very pleased with how our girls competed. We competed well as a team and took second in a very strong league.”

Rachel Schrader had an impressive day, winning the 3,000 in her first crack at the event of the season and taking second in the mile. Kaitlyn Belisle took second in the 3,000 to give the Lions a 1-2 finish.

“Rachel hadn’t run the 3,000 this year so they had her in the slow heat,” Vavra said. “She was so far out in front she didn’t have any real competition. But she ran so well she won the whole thing.”

Kylie Cornman took first in the shot put with a provisional throw of 47 feet, 2.5 inches. Brittani Reagan followed up her win in the long jump with a second-place finish in the triple jump.

Sydney Potts took third in the 800.

The MSSU men were led by Jeff Fraley’s impressive efforts in the sprints. He took first in the 200 with a time of 21.73 seconds and was second in the 60 at 6.83 seconds. He currently ranks fifth in the nation in the 200.

Michael Juergens was second in the pole vault with a provisional height of 16-03.25. John Lowe took sixth in the pole vault.

Pittsburg State’s Colbie Snider, a senior from Joplin High School, won the pole vault with a height of 16-07.

Anthony Price and Clark Tanksley took fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 400.

The Lions now wait to see which of its athletes will qualify for nationals, which will be held March 8 and 9 in Birmingham, Ala.