(From MSSU Lions Athletic News)
The Missouri Southern men's and women's track and field teams are both ranked in the top-20 this week as the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association have released its final rankings prior to the National Championships.
The Southern women are ranked 13th in the final regular-season rankings. The Lions have ten NCAA provisional marks and one automatic qualifying mark, led by pole vaulter Emily Presley. Presley is the top-ranked vaulter in Division II and is the reigning Division II Indoor and Outdoor National Champion in the event.
The men move up three spots this week to No. 19. The Lions have 11 NCAA provisional marks and one automatic qualifying mark, led by Bryan Burns who ranks in the top ten nationally in three events (2nd in discus, 9th in shot put and 10th in hammer throw). Burns also has an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the discus.
The squads were also well-represented as the All-Region teams were released this week. The men had six All-Region performances from three athletes and the women had seven All-Region performances from five athletes.
The women were led by Allie Heckemeyer who was All-Region in both the heptathlon and the triple jump. Freshman Jasmine Deckard was All-Region in the 100m and 200m and ranks in the top ten nationally in both events. Presley was All-Region in the pole vault and was joined by teammate Elena Bisotto in the event, while Destiny Akannam was All-Region in the 400m.
The men were led by Burns who was All-Region in the shot put, discus and the hammer. Brendan Watkins was All-Region in both the long and triple jump, while Matt Willis earned All-Region honors in the 400m hurdles.
Southern will await the announcement from the NCAA on which athletes have made the National Championship field. That list will be released later this evening.