Jan. 15, 2009
Bearcat Track Heads to Nebraska for First Meet of New Year
MARYVILLE, Mo. - After more than a month away from competition, the Northwest Missouri State indoor track and field teams restart the 2008-09 season at the Nebraska Holiday Inn Invitational Jan. 16-17. Events start at 4 p.m. Friday at the Bob Devaney Center Indoor Track. Both men's and women's teams will be competing with nearly a full roster, now that football plays and distance runners will be rejoining the team after their fall seasons.
NCAA provisional and automatic running times will be harder to achieve, as the Devaney Center features one of three hyrdaulic-banked tracks in the United States. NCAA times change based on the length of the track and whether it has banking. For example, the provisional qualifying mark for the 200-meter dash on a 200-meter flat track is 21.85, while the mark on a 200-meter banked track is 21.55.
That won't be an issue for Ben McKim, who earned a provisional spot for the NCAA championships in the shot put with 52-6 1/2 at Iowa State Dec. 5, and will be looking to improve his mark against seven Nebraska athletes, including Lloyd Keith who advanced to the Division I outdoor championships in the shot put last season. McKim will begin throwing Saturday following the completion of the women's shot put, which begins at noon.
John Miles will be sprinting in preliminary races tomorrow in the 60-meter dash beginning around 6 p.m. Miles also earned a provisional spot in the national championships with 6.88 at the Iowa State meet last month. Among the other 59 runners are three runners from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, all of which are professionals with Nike (Rae Edwards, Ivory Williams and Mark Jelks). The fourth sprinter with Nike funding, Dexter Faulk, finished fifth behind Miles in Ames, Iowa, last month.
The lone NCAA qualifier on the women's side, Emily Churchman, will be busy with events on Friday. The pentathlete, who broke the program record with 3,252 points at Doane Dec. 12, will be competing in the high jump, long jump and the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles, three of the five events for the pentathlon.
Churchman will be one of three Bearcats in her heat for the hurdles, along with freshman Ashlynn Loveless and senior Hannah Henry. Henry ran 9.19 seconds in the first meet of the season, already within a tenth of her career-best, while Loveless finished 13th overall in the hurdles in her first collegiate meet.
All the distance runners will be running their first events of the indoor season Friday night, with the exception of Anna O'Brien. O'Brien redshirted the cross country season and ran the mile at Iowa State and finished second with 5:07.18, less than two seconds away from qualifying for the NCAA meet.
Cost for the meet is $3 general admission for youth, $5 general admission for adults and $7 for reserved seating. Live results will be available at NorthwestBearcats.com.
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