May 12, 2012
Bearcats complete successful last chance meets
CHICAGO, Ill. – A pair of Northwest Missouri State track and field athletes improved on their NCAA marks Saturday at the Dr. Keeler Invitational and the Chicago Penultimate hosted by Chicago University.
For the men Ryan Darling improved his standing in the 1500-meters with a time of 3:51.08 and a top five finish at the Dr. Keeler Invitational. On Saturday senior T.R. Pursell won the 1500-meters with a time of 3:59.57 at the Chicago Penultimate, as he just missed the provisional time and possibility of joining Darling at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Sophomore Jake Henry ran to a third place finish with a time of 4:08.41.
Henry would go on to capture the title in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:26.45.
Along with Darling’s top five finish, Travis Manning finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. Manning’s time of 14.64 did not improve his time set last weekend at the MIAA Championships which ranks him 34th in the country.
On Saturday afternoon, Manning took his second shot in the 110-meter hurdles taking the title, but was not able to improve his time again. Zane Myers finished second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.89.
Myers went on to win the title Saturday evening in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.85.
Closing out a solid freshman season was Eli Smith, who earned the title in the 400-meters. Smith’s time of 48.87 was almost a full second better than second place finisher David Junior of Northwestern Track Club.
Junior John Petroff closed out the men’s competition winning the discus with a provisional mark of 163’ 6”. The distance for Petroff was not better than his mark of 163’ 9” earlier this spring at the Northwest Open and stands 31st on the NCAA list.
On the women’s side Lekiesha McKnight jumped into the top 10 in NCAA II capturing the title in the shot put. McKnight had a distance of 48’ 2.5” giving her the eighth best mark in the country and likely sealing a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships later this month.
McKnight also won the shot put later on Saturday at the Chicago Penultimate with a provisional mark of 47’ 2.5” as Kate Walter and Fiona Moloney finished third and fourth respectively.
Capping off an outstanding spring, senior Kate Walter again won the hammer throw with a toss of 193’ 4” to improve on her NCAA automatic distance. The throw is the fifth best mark this season in NCAA II as Walter also finished runner-up in the discus throw and third in the shot put.
Walter’s throw of 44’ 6.25” was also a provisional mark, however her distance of 45’ 10.5” at the MIAA Championships still stands as her top distance of the year. Fiona Moloney finished close behind Walter in the shot put with a mark of 44’ 2.75” for a fourth place finish. Moloney threw a provisional mark earlier this spring at the Central Missouri Relays.
Samantha Fender completed a runner-up finish in the long jump with a jump of 17’ 8” narrowly missing the provisional mark. Fender currently holds a provisional mark in the long jump, earned at last week’s conference championships.
Also earning a title on Saturday afternoon was Megan Elder in the pole vault. Elder recorded a jump of 10’ 8” as she shared the title with Kelly Freeman of Valparasio and Taelar Hillyer of Augustana (Ill.).
Sophomore Ashli Mosby won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.91 as teammate Jessica Hugo finished third at 16.65.
Hugo also won the high jump with a mark of 5’ 4.25” beating out Paige Peltzer of Chicago University.
The NCAA is expected to announce its field for the upcoming DII outdoor championships early next week. The Bearcats currently have two automatic qualifiers – Kate Walter and Brittany Poole – plus seven provisional qualifiers for the men and women combined. The NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships is set for May 24-26 in Pueblo, Colo., hosted by Colorado State-Pueblo.
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Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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