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A Pair of MVC-Hosted Meets Makes for a Busy Bear Weekend



SPRINGFIELD - A pair of Missouri Valley Conference hosts beckons the Bears this weekend, as the track and field team will compete in the 101st Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa and the Redbird Spring Invitational in Normal, Ill.

The prestigious Drake Relays' field of more than 7,200 competitors will feature one Bear runner, senior Staci Nelson. Nelson will take part in Thursday's 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Chatham, Ill., native has done her part in continuing Missouri State's line of success in the event, winning her sole 2010 steeplechase appearance at the Ole Miss Invitational. Her time of 10:44.30 was a personal best by more than 27 seconds and established her as the top MVC steeplechaser.  

The rest of the squad will travel to join host Illinois State and others at the one-day Redbird Spring Invitational scheduled for Saturday, April 24. It will be the first action for many of the Bears, save for three distance runners who competed in the April 15 Kansas Relays,  since the Ole Miss Invitational April 10. Shantel Llewellyn (Jr., Ajax, Ontario) joined Nelson as the Bear standouts in Oxford, Miss., as she finished fifth in the 200-meter dash (24.65) and seventh in the 100-meter dash (12.16). Her 200-meter time is the fourth-fastest by an MVC runner this season, while her 100-meter mark is a 2010 Bear's best.

Also at the invitational, Emily Beaver (Fr., Diamond, Mo.) and Stephanie Harres (Jr., Columbia, Ill.) finished second and fourth, respectively, in the 5,000-meter run, with personal bests of 17:42.91 and 17:51.80.

It will be a key weekend for the Bears as they prepare for the MVC Outdoor Championships set for May 14-16. Next weekend's Arkansas Twilight will be their final tune up.


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