The Missouri Southern men's and women's track and field teams will open up the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday in North Carolina.
The 13th ranked women and the 18th ranked men will open up the championships which will be at the Irwin Belk Complex as Johnson C. Smith University serves as the host of this year's meet. All times listed below are Eastern Standard Time.
Allie Heckemeyer will start things off for the Lions as she competes in the heptathlon beginning at 11 am on Thursday. Heckemeyer ranks 5th in the event this year and is the defending NCAA Elite 90 winner. This year's award will be announced at the pre-meet banquet on Wednesday.
Bryan Burns will compete in the first of three events the senior will take part in this year as he opens up the hammer throw at noon on Thursday. Burns holds the school record in the event that he set at this year's MIAA Championships.
Emily Presley and Elena Bisotto will compete in the pole vault at 2 pm on Thursday. Presley is the defending National Champion in the event and is the top-ranked athlete coming into this year's championship. Bisotto is ranked 16th coming into the event.
Closing out the first day of competition will be the sprints where the Lions will have a trio of runners. Destiny Akannam will run in the prelims of the 400m dash at 5:55 pm. She ranks 13th nationally in the event. Jasmin Deckard will compete in the prelims of the 100m dash at 6:25 pm, where she holds the MSSU record and ranks sixth nationally. Matt Willis will take part in the prelims of the 400m hurdles at 7:40 pm. He was an All-MIAA selection this year in the event and ranks 19th nationally.
Day two will start off with the second day of competition for Heckemeyer in the heptathlon at 10:30 am. Burns will then take part in the discus at 4 pm, an event he holds the school record in and ranks second nationally. Heckemeyer will then compete in the triple jump at 4:45 pm where she was an All-American in the event during the indoor season.
Deckard will close competition for the Lions on day two with the prelims of the 200m at 5:50 pm. She holds the MSSU school record in the event and ranks 11th nationally.
Day three will begin with the triple jump and Brendan Watkins representing the Lions at 12:45 pm. Watkins was an All-MIAA selection this year in the event and ranks ninth nationally. Burns will finish up his trio of events with the shot put at 3:40 pm. An event he's already earned All-American honors in his career, Burns holds the school record in this event and ranks third nationally.
The final events of the meet for the Lions will be the finals of the sprints. If either of the trio of sprinters should advance to the finals, the schedule would be as follows: Akannam in the finals of the 400m at 4:35 pm, Deckard in the finals of the 100m at 4:55 pm, Willis in the finals of the 400m hurdles at 5:30 pm and Deckard in the finals of the 200m at 6 pm.
In total, the Lions sent eight individuals in 12 different events to this year's NCAA National Championships.