Jan. 22, 2009
Teams Return to Familiar Tracks as Bearcats Split Squads
MARYVILLE, Mo. - A late addition to the schedule will split the Northwest Missouri State track and field teams between the Iowa State Open Jan. 23-24 and the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational Jan. 24 at Lincoln, Neb. It will be the second meet of the season at both tracks, as the Bearcats opened the season at Iowa State Dec. 5 and competed last weekend at the Bob Devaney Indoor Center for the Holiday Inn Invitational.
Both tracks are unique in size and shape, which will make NCAA qualifying times harder to achieve. On a 200-meter flat track, which will be the configuration for the MIAA championships just more than a month away, the NCAA qualifying time for the men's 200-meter dash is 22.10. The Devaney Center features a 200-meter banked track where the qualifying time is 21.80, while the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa, is a 300-meter flat track and the qualifying time lowers to 21.50.
Ben McKim, John Miles and distance runners will be the only athletes traveling to Iowa State this weekend. McKim (shot put) and Miles (60-meter dash) both reached provisional qualifying marks at Iowa State Dec. 5, and McKim improved upon it with a career-best 53-6 1/4 at Nebraska last weekend. He has the nation's sixth-best mark in the event.
Miles provisionally qualified with 6.88 at Iowa State earlier this season and is tied in 16th Division II performance lists. As of Jan. 21, 108 athletes were scheduled to compete in the event at Iowa State, including four athletes with funding by Nike. It's the same four who competed with Miles at Nebraska last weekend.
The distance runners will be led by Anna O'Brien, who broke the program 5,000-meter record last weekend with 17:51.71. Although she is not scheduled to run the 5,000-meter run again this weekend, she is seeded among the top five runners in both the mile and 1,000-meter runs.
Zach Layton also entered the Bearcat record books in his first career indoor meet with 8:59.88 in the 3,000-meter run last weekend. It's the ninth-fastest time in program performer lists.
The rest of the teams will be back in Lincoln, Neb., for the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan. Apart from Northwest and Nebraska Wesleyan, the meet will feature three Division I programs with Air Force, Kansas State and Nebraska scheduled to compete. The three programs are taking part in the Mountain West/Big 12 Challenge earlier in the day in Lincoln, Neb.
The Bearcats are scheduled to take 46 athletes to the Devaney Center. Jacob Dupin will be kept busy with four events: high jump, long jump, shot put and 60-meter hurdles. Dupin jumped a season-best 6-4 1/4 to win the unseeded high jump last weekend at Nebraska and will be competing collegiately in the shot put and 60-meter hurdles for the first time.
The four female multi-event athletes will each have at least three events for Saturday. Johanna Avilez will compete in four events (200-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump) while Lindsay Biermann, Emily Churchman and Jennifer Kiss will each compete in three events. Churchman has already provisionally qualifying in the penathlon, as the event is making it's inaugural appearance at the NCAA indoor championships this season.
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