Panthers could qualify several more for Nationals at El Dorado

John Giffin

Sports editor

With five athletes already qualified in seven events for the National Junior College Athletic Association Outdoor Championships, the Neosho County Community College track and field team will compete at the NJCAA Region VI Championship at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in El Dorado.
Some events began Thursday and competition continues Friday and Saturday. Teams from the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East and West are at the three-day event. Conference and Region VI Crowns will be determined on South Haverhill Road this weekend.
Head Panther Track and Field Coach Clinton Fletcher expects for the men to compete for the Jayhawk East team title. 
"Our Region finish for the guys, I'm hoping top five," Fletcher said. "But a conference top one or two. We definitely have a chance. Coffeyville may have a little more depth than we have in certain areas but we definitely should be able to beat out the Allens, the Johnson Counties because we have decent depth as well."
Two men have already qualified for the NJCAA meet in three events. Christopher Allen qualified in the javelin. Kyle Washington Scott has qualified in the discus and shot put and is .08 of a meter from qualifying in the hammer throw.
"He's ranked second right now, but Kyle competes," Fletcher said. "Since his freshman year he comes to championship meets and a lot of times was not ranked in the top eight and he'd qualify ... He should definitely have a chance to win." 
For the women, Selina Lacy has a chance to win the Jayhawk East in the 800 meter run. She has not hit the national qualifying mark, but has ran about five seconds shy of the 2:21.77 national qualifying time.
"She's ranked in the top eight so hopefully she can break through and be in the top two or three in the Region," Fletcher said. "Hopefully win the conference."
Tyler Kelly, the 100 meter and 400 meter hurdler is injured and will miss the Region VI competition. Even with the injuries Fletcher expects the women to compete.
"In the field events and the multis, I think we finish in the top eight for sure," Fletcher said. "That's where a lot of those points are going to stack up at."    
Already qualified for the Nationals is Allen and Washington-Scott, Dominique Whitein the discus and shot put, Dymond White in the hammer throw and Kelly in the 400 meter hurdles. Several other athletes are close to qualifying. 
"We have a lot of people that are right off the qualifying mark," Fletcher said. "Right now we have five people qualified, but we could easily have 10. In the 800 Darren Payton and John Gould are less than a second away from qualifying. We have some people that are .3 second from qualifying. With this people a regional meet we'll probably have 10 or more people qualify."
The NJCAA Region VI meet will be streamed online For live results   

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