Feb. 5, 2009
Bearcats Head to First MIAA Site of the Season
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State track and field will send the women's team and most of its men's team to compete in the Central Missouri Mule Relays Feb. 6-7 in Warrensburg, Mo. The men's multi-event athletes will head to Vermillion, S.D., for the Bill Hillenbrand Open Feb. 6-7 inside the DakotaDome at the University of South Dakota.
It's the first of three trips to the UCM Multipurpose Building this season, as the Bearcats compete in the Central Missouri Classic Feb. 20 and the MIAA Championships Feb. 27-March 1. This weekend will be the first chance for the Bearcats to compete against Central Missouri and Emporia State this season.
The women begin competition Friday at 1:30 p.m. with field events followed by running events at 5 p.m. All three Bearcat NCAA qualifiers will lead 20 athletes making the trip to Central Missouri. Hannah Henry, who leads the MIAA with a 8.94 time in the 60-meter hurdles, is 14th among Division II qualifiers after the conversion from a 8.37 time in the 55-meter hurdles at Doane last weekend. She will start Friday with the fastest seed time of the 35 hurdlers.
Anna O'Brien is also making the trip with the conference's best time in the mile run with a program-record 5:02.73. It's one of three program records that O'Brien broke within a nine-day span in additional to the 1,000-meter and 5,000-meter runs. But she's scheduled to compete Friday in the 800-meter and 3,000-meter runs for the first time this season, and if the pattern holds, she could return with records in both. She's seeded with the meet's fastest 3K time at 10:20. The record is 10:26.60.
Emily Churchman, the defending MIAA Field Athlete of the Week, will not be competing in the pentathlon but is scheduled to participate in the long jump and shot put during the early field events session Friday. Churchman broke her own program record and improved her NCAA provisional mark with 3,372 points at Doane Feb. 1. She has Division II's 12th-best mark in the first year the NCAA will sponsor the pentathlon at the national championships.
The men's team will be making its first appearance after a break last weekend, and Ben McKim will lead the field event athletes who depart early Saturday morning. McKim has reached the national qualifying mark in the shot put in all three meets this season and peaked at 53-6.25 at the Holiday Inn Invitational Jan. 17. He is fourth among MIAA throwers so far this season.
With just one collegiate race on his record, Tyler Shaw has already accumulated a number of accolades. He provisionally qualified in the 60-meter hurdles two weeks ago, has the nation's seventh-best time and is one-hundredth of a second from tying the record set in 2002.
The men's heptathletes will split from the rest of the squad and head to the Bill Hillenbrand Open Friday and Saturday. Zane Myers, who scored 4,199 points in the Doane Multi-Events before the semester break, will make the trip with Jacob Dupin, who is making his first career heptathlon start. Dupin was kept busy at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational two weeks ago by competing in the high jump, long jump and shot put, three of the seven events in the heptathlon.
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