Five Gorillas qualify for nationals

Amelia Mallatt | Sports Writer

The PSU men’s and women’s indoor track team competed in the three-day MIAA Championships in Joplin, Mo., over the weekend. The men placed fourth and the women finished sixth.
The PSU men ended the meet with 99 points, one point behind Lincoln for third. Missouri Southern finished in second with 119 points and Central Missouri took first with 149 points.
The PSU women tallied 54 points, landing them in sixth place. Ahead of them were Emporia State with 63.5 points, Truman with 65 points, Missouri Southern with 94 points, Central Missouri with 140.5 and the victor Lincoln ending with 150 points.
On the final day of action, the PSU men fared well. Colbie Snyder set a PSU record in the pole vault. Snyder’s winning clearance of 16 feet, 10 inches, landed him with a sixth-place finish and qualified him for Nationals.
“Colbie is ranked third,” Jewett said. “Pole vaulting is a very volatile event. You can be ranked first going in, but when that bar goes up anybody can win.”
Keenan Soles performed well in the long jump, winning it with a mark of 24 feet, 4-1/4 inches. Soles added a decent performance on top of the long jump, taking seventh place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.94 seconds. Steven Mann took home fourth place in the long jump for the Gorillas, with a mark of 23- 2.
“His jumps keep improving and he hasn’t even hit the take-off board yet,” Jewett said. “He is very competitive, that bodes well for him.”
Adam Volkert took home fourth place in the mile and fifth place in the 3,000 meters. Volkert finished the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 18.88 seconds, and he finished the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:38.05.
On the women’s side, Rosalyn Nelson raced to an MIAA, runner-up finish in the 60-meters, with a time of 7.62 seconds.
“Rosalyn Nelson is ranked 12th going in, and she is getting faster,” Jewett said.
The reason for her improved times in the latter part of the season is an extended recovery from an injury last season. Though she has technically been healthy all season, she is just now getting into the shape she needs to be in to perform her best.
In the shot put Larissa Richards placed third with a heave of 48- 2. Heidi Smith took fifth in the shot put with a toss of 47 1/4. Both marks were good enough to send them to Nationals. Unfortunately for Richards, the only way she can compete in Nationals is if the women’s basketball team loses in the National basketball tournament.
“Heidi Smith is ranked 10th going in,” Jewett said. “She has a lot of Nationals experience. We hope that helps her.”
Kaley Temaat participated in the mile run, finishing in 5:11.16. Her performance was good for fifth place but not good enough for Nationals.
The PSU women’s 4×400 meter relay team finished fourth in their race with a time of 4:05.96. The team consisted of Jessica Reichenberger, Hillary Dickey, Jacque Timberlake and Whitney Southard.
Now it is up to the five National Qualifiers: Colbie Synder and Keenan Soles for the men, Larissa Richards, Heidi Smith and Rosalyn Nelson for the women.
“We had five make Nationals,” Jewett said. “Something that is getting harder and harder to do.”

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