Missouri State Track and Field to Begin Indoor Season Friday
The Missouri State track and field team will travel to Columbia, Mo., on Friday (Jan. 9) for the Missouri Invitational to kick off their indoor season. The Bears return to Columbia, where a season ago they also opened indoor competition.
Key returners for the Bears this season include junior Leander Ernest and seniors Jamie Vest and Asher Kyger. Last season, Ernest won the 600-yard dash in Columbia and placed second as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team. Ernest will look to continue her dominance and defend her MVC Indoor Championship in the 800-meter run and the distance medley relay.
Kyger is the defending MVC Indoor Champion in the mile run and the distance medley relay. In 2008, Vest placed in the top 10 in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs at the MVC Indoor Championships. Neither Kyger nor Vest competed at the Missouri Invitational last season.
Among the newcomers to the Bears’ squad are two high school state champions. Jelni Kelly (St. Louis, Mo., Hazelwood Central) was Missouri state champion in the discus throw in 2007, while Kindra Perkins (Chicago, Ill., Proviso East) won the Illinois state title on the 4x400-meter relay team.
The combination of newcomers and returners gives the Bears both experience and depth. “This year’s team will be balanced,” said Head Coach Ron Boyce. “We have depth in all aspects.”
The Missouri Invitational will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse.