Bears Set for Regional Competition
Four Missouri State track and field athletes have qualified to compete in individual events at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, Friday through Saturday, May 30-31, in Fayetteville, Ark. Senior Asher Kyger, junior Jamie Vest, sophomore Leander Ernest and freshman Terry Phillips will compete at the regional meet, as will the Bears’ 4x400-meter relay squad.
In addition to qualifying for regional competition in an individual event, Ernest anchored Missouri State’s 4x400 relay squad that earned entry into the regional field at the MVC Outdoor Championship in Carbondale, Ill. MSU’s 4x400 team captured the conference title with a season-best performance of 3:40:45, smashing the McAndrews Stadium-record mark at the Valley meet. Ernest’s time of 2:06.45 in the 800-meter run at the Kansas Relays, tops the Missouri Valley Conference performance list and qualified her for regional competition in the event.
Sophomore Renna Berry, junior Yaneika Malcolm and freshman Jacqui Lindsey will compete with Ernest on the 4x400 relay squad.
Kyger qualified for the regional meet with an outstanding performance in the 1500-meter run at the Kansas Relays last month. The Oldfield, Mo. native exceeded the regional qualifying mark of 4:27.80 with a time of 4:26.20 in the event, recording the top time in the Valley this season.
Phillips and Vest captured silver and bronze at the MVC Championships two weeks ago, setting regional qualifying times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Phillips, a freshman from Kansas City, Mo, recorded a personal best time in the event with a time of 10:38.34. Vest qualified for regional competition with a time of 10:38.42.
To qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, a track and field athlete must place in the top five in a regional event. A student-athlete may also compete at the national meet through an at-large pool that consists of the top regional finishers outside of the top five spots in a given event.
The 2008 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be held Wednesday through Saturday, June 11-14, in Des Moines, Iowa.