Ernest, Kelly Compete on Day One of Mideast Regional Championship
Leander Ernest and Jelni Kelly competed for Missouri State at the first day of the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship today in Louisville, Ky. Both reached the regional qualifying standard in their event at the MVC Outdoor Championship two weeks ago.
Freshman Jelni Kelly mustered 151-01 feet (46.05 meters) on her second discus throw of the flight. It was her longest of the day and placed her 17th in the region. It was the St. Louis native’s first competition at the regional meet.
Leander Ernest ran the 400-meter dash in an attempt to reach the NCAA National Championship for the third consecutive year in an individual event. Ernest’s bid fell short as she ran a time of 54.94 seconds and finished 12th in the event, short of reaching tomorrow’s final. Ernest had reached the NCAA National meet in the 800-meter run the past two years. She will have another chance at reaching the National Championship meet tomorrow as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team.
Terry Phillips and Jamie Vest will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase tomorrow evening. Phillips owns the Missouri State school record in the event with a time of 10:19.45. Vest, a senior, will be vying for a place in the NCAA National Championship for the second straight year in the steeplechase.
Mareneika Goffe will participate in the high jump tomorrow afternoon. Goffe attained a regional qualifying mark at the MVC Outdoor Championship with a jump of 5-08.75 feet (1.75 meters). That jump was an inch and a quarter shy of tying the school record.
The NCAA Mideast Regional Championship continues at Cardinal Park on the University of Louisville campus on Saturday beginning at 11:00 a.m. The top-five finishers in the individual events will get automatic bids to the NCAA National Championship meet in Fayetteville, Ark., June 10-13.