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Two Vikings competing at nationals

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MARION, Ind. -- Two members of the Missouri Valley College men's track and field team will be competing in the 60th annual NAIA Outdoor Championships being held today through Saturday at Marion, Ind.

Sophomore Jon Leonard of Higginsville qualified for nationals in the 110-meter high hurdles while placing fifth at the Heart of America Conference meet. His time of 14.95 seconds ranks 32nd on the NAIA performance list. The top seed is Central Methodist senior Edward Stewart at 13.93 seconds.

With his showing at a meet in December, junior Alex Avilez of Escondido, Calif., made the field in the half-marathon, his 1:15:57.24 seeded 55th. The top time of 1:12:55 is held by Park freshman Thomas Chelulei.

Leonard's first preliminary is scheduled for 2:40 p.m. today, while Avilez is set to go at 6 a.m. Saturday.


For the third year in a row, MVC rodeo coach Ken Mason has been named the NIRA Ozark Region "coach of the year" for leading the Vikings to their fourth straight regional championship.

The Iowa native was recognized for that and inducted into the University of Tennessee-Martin Rodeo Hall of Fame during the April 16th UTM Rodeo.

Valley was the reserve champion at the 2010 College National Finals Rodeo and returns its men's squad to the meet at Casper, Wyo., on June 12-18.


The Valley men's golf team came in third during the Heart of America Conference Tournament, May 9-10 at Hamilton, Ill.

Freshmen Brodie McGregor of Stratford, P.E.I., and Stephen Freund of O'Fallon tied for 13th place with a three-round score of 242 on Deer Run Golf Course. The Vikings tallied 985 points to finish behind Lindenwood (912 points) -- which had the individual champion with Greg MacAuley's 11-over-par 224 -- and Central Methodist (963).

Senior Leah Bartlett of Kansas City shared 15th place during the HAAC Women's Championship, May 2-3 at Lawrence, Kan. The Lady Vikings came in sixth with 897 points over two rounds, Lindenwood (678) taking the title by 88 points over Baker (766) behind the 19-over 163 posted by Marcella Ax on the Alvamar Golf Club course.

Women's Wrestling

Freshman Jacarra Winchester of San Leandro, Calif., took fourth place as the lone member of the Valley women's wrestling team during the USAW University Nationals, April 23 at Akron, Ohio.

Winchester won three of her first four matches to land in the 55-kilogram medal round, dropping a three-round decision to Lindenwood's Joy Yamashita. Winchester also won a fourth-place bout against Monica Hovermale of Lock Haven (Pa.), 0-2, 1-0, 6-4, in the FILA Junior Freestyle division at the Body Bar Women's National Championships, May 13-15 at Kissimmee, Fla.

Also competing for the Lady Vikings were freshman Brittany Jones of Coppell, Texas, with a sixth place in the 72-kilogram class and freshman Mary Catherine Correira of Memphis with a seventh place at 48 kilograms.


Valley sophomore Esperanza Rothwell of Port Hueneme, Calif., received a Heart of America Conference Gold Glove Award for her defensive play at second base during the season. In 36 games, Rothwell had 10 errors in 150 chances for a .933 fielding percentage, averaging 2.14 putouts and 1.75 chances per game.

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