April 2, 2011
Northwest teams place second at home meet
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Austin Gray's provisional mark in the hammer throw and Brittany Poole's school-record performance in the steeplechase helped Northwest Missouri State's men's and women's track and field teams to second-place finishes at the Student Body Northwest Open Saturday at Herschel Neil Track.
MIAA foe Truman topped the Bearcat women 145.5 to 144. William Jewell was a distant third with 88 points. Iowa Western took the men's title with 201.5 points. Northwest had 159 points and William Jewell claimed third with 78.5 points.
Gray bested 18 competitors in the hammer throw with a career-best toss of 183-feet-3-inches. Gray is the first athlete on the men's side to qualify for the national meet. His throw currently ranks 17th in the nation and is fourth-best in program history.
Poole broke her own record by more than three seconds in winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Her nearest competitor, Debbie Boedeker of Truman, finished one minute, 20 seconds later. Poole ran 11:11.59, less than two seconds behind the NCAA provisional mark of 11:10.
Gray and Poole were two of the seven Bearcats who won individual events at the home meet. Northwest also totaled eight second-place finishers.
Rachel Lewis, Samantha Fender and Courtney Jefferson placed first, second and third, respectively, in the 100-meter dash to earn 24 team points. Lewis ran a career-best 12.27s - eighth-best in program history. Fender finished at 12.30s. She ran 12.02s more than two weeks ago at Emporia State.
Tyler Shaw won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.77s and placed second in his signature event, the 110-meter hurdles. Kemper Kellerstrass and Will Haer both cleared 14-feet-3.25-inches to share the pole vault crown. Porter Groves won the triple jump with a leap of 46-feet-4.75-inches.
The Student Body Northwest Open is the first of two home meets the Bearcats will host in a span of two weeks. Northwest will hold its Bearcat Open April 16. Next week's event is Saturday's ASICS-Central Methodist Invitational in Fayette, Mo.
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