Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern men's and women's track and field teams will open up their respective indoor seasons tomorrow when the Lions play host to the MSSU Invitational held inside the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.
Events kick off at 2:30 pm on friday with the men's long jump and weight throw. Running events start at 5 pm with the prelims of the 60m dash. Saturday's events begin at 10:30 am with the men's shot put, as well as the women's triple jum and pole vault. Running events begin at 3 pm with the finals of the 60m hurdles.
Both the men's and women's teams were picked to finish third in the preseason MIAA Indoor Track and Field Coaches Poll. The Southern men return four All-MIAA performers from last season in Jeff Fraley (60m and 200m), Clark Tanksley (high jump), Darion Boure (triple jump) and Jayce Thomas (heptathlon). Fraley was the champion in the 200m and will look to defend his title this season. Southern had six All-Region performers and qualified six athletes for the indoor national championships, with all but two returning to this year's squad.
On the women's side, the Lions finished second last year in the indoor MIAA meet. Southern returns three individual champions and the bulk of the distance medlay championship team including Brittani Reagan in the long jump, Melanie Bower in the pole vault and Kylie Cornman in the shot put. Cornman went on to earn All-American honors in the shot put. The Lions return All-Americans from the outdoor season including Whitney Hardy in the high jump, Reagan in both the long and triple jump and Kaylee Morgan in the long jump.