Eight Bears to Compete at Mideast Regional Track and Field Championship
The Missouri State track and field team is headed to Louisville, Ky., for this weekend’s NCAA Mideast Regional. Five Bears return to the Regional Championship after competing at the event last year.
Leander Ernest headlines the returners for the Bears. Ernest will compete in the 400-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay this weekend. She also qualified for the 800-meter run, but will not participate in that event. Ernest reached the NCAA National Championship last year in the 800-meter run where she finished 19th. Ernest has now qualified for the Regional Championship in at least two events for the third-straight year.
Ernest will be joined on the relay team by Cortene Boulard, Yanieka Malcolm and Rashida Allen. Boulard and Malcolm also ran the 4x400-meter relay at last year’s Regional, placing ninth at that meet. Malcolm reaches the Regional Championship for the third year in the 4x400-meter relay.
On the distance side, Terry Phillips and Jamie Vest return to the Mideast regional in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. This year will mark the third time for Vest, who reached Nationals last year and finished 26th. Terry Phillips is the current Missouri State record holder in the event, having broken the previous record twice this season. Her time of 10:19.45 ranks her fifth in the region entering this weekend.
Mareneika Goffe and Jelni Kelly will compete in their first Regional meet. Both qualified for the Regional Championship at the MVC Outdoor Championship, May 16 and 17. Goffe will compete in the high jump after taking the conference title in the event with her jump of 5-08.75 feet (1.75 meters). Kelly enters the weekend with a discus throw of 156-01 feet (47.57 meters) under her belt as she competes in that event Friday in Louisville.
Pasca Cheruiyot qualified for the Regional Championship in the 5,000-meter run. She has left the team for personal reasons and will not compete.The NCAA Mideast Regional Championship begins Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Cardinal Park on the University of Louisville campus. Kelly and Ernest will compete on Friday, and the remainder of the team will compete in Saturday’s events. The top-five finishers in the individual events will get automatic bids to the NCAA National Championship meet in Fayetteville, Ark., June 10-13.