Jan. 19, 2013
Columbia, Mo. - The Tigers track and field squads are hoping that this, their first season in the SEC, will be one for the history books. They certainly had a good start at home for the Missouri Invitational. The men and women left the meet with 17 personal-bests, seven top ten marks, and four stand-out performance from freshmen Markesh Woodson (Colorado Springs, CO) and Chelsie Stevens (Upper Marlboro, MD), and seniors Malcolm Pennix (South Bend, IN) and Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, KS).
“Overall, it was like what [Head Coach] Halter said. You had stars who reminded people why they’re stars and then you had the newcomers who stepped up and said, ‘hey, I want to be big time too’,” said Dan Lefever, who is in his second year as Associate Head Coach of the Tigers, and 10th year with the staff. “A lot of people made some great starts. Whether it was a personal-best or breakthrough performance, there were a lot of people in that spot.”
Pennix is certainly one of the returning stars, after finishing 12th in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year. He started the trend of record-breaking performances after hitting 7.78m (25-6.25) on his third attempt in the long jump to not only win the event, but earn a new meet record. He out-jumped the previous record, set by Deandre Free in 2004, by 2.5 inches. This jump is also currently the second-best mark in the nation for NCAA Division I.
“I feel really good about my performance today, and I think I can continue to improve each meet. My training during the fall was amazing, so I just have to keep going and stay healthy,” Pennix said. “I’m really proud of everybody, we’re looking really good. Everybody was supporting, across the board.”
Woodson was next to try his hand at setting a new record, winning the 60m dash final in 6.70 to tie the school record, set in 1999 by Carlos Posey. He was 0.02 off from both a meet and facility record, and is currently 15th on the national rankings.
“It sets me up to really compete [in the SEC],” Woodson said. “I want to help prove that Missouri is good enough to compete in the SEC with the sprints crew.”
Roxberg, who earned school records in the mile and 1500m last year, earned the second meet record of the day, winning the 1000m in 2:45.63. This beat the previous record, set in 2007 by Mable Kunihira, by five seconds. That time was also the second-fastest time in Missouri history, missing the school record by 0.22 seconds.
“I’m just really excited since it was my first race of the season, and I haven’t raced since June. I’m proud of where I am training-wise, and now I’ll just keep going and see how much faster I can get as the season goes on,” Roxberg said. “I think all the newcomers, and all the people who have been around for a long time, have done a really good job of cheering other people and getting around to all the events. I’m really looking forward to this season, especially in the new conference, and seeing how we all work together.”
There were two more Top Ten performances in MU history for the men's team, both coming out of the 60m hurdles. Junior Andy Schuckenbrock (Bowling Green, MO) ran a PR of 8.40 in the prelim to qualify for the final and place him at No. 10 on the all-time list. He finished sixth in the final, crossing in 8.44. Freshman Kyle Smith (Cheltenham, MD) earned a pair of Top Ten times, hitting 8.30 in the prelims, then finished second in the finals with a time of 8.15. These times were good for No. 7 and No. 2 all-time.
The women also walked away with a couple of new Top Ten athletes. Stevens joined her fellow freshmen Woodson and Smith with a No. 2 all-time mark of 7.61 in the 60m dash prelim. She missed the 12-year old record set by Avis Evans by 0.01 seconds.
“I think it’s the beginning of a new era. I think the kids who came in last year are starting to understand that they have an opportunity to re-write history,” said Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson, currently in his first year at Missouri as the horizontal jumps and short sprints coach. “These kids have the opportunity to be at the forefront of a new era and to really show the country that Missouri can produce great sprinters and jumpers and hurdlers.”
Freshman Danielle Williams (Aurora, CO) also earned a Top Ten mark, finishing the triple jump in fifth with a mark of 11.67m (38-3.5) to claim No. 9 on the all-time list.
Other noteworthy performances include:
First Place Finishes:
- Markesh Woodson, 60m dash - 6.70
- Men's 4x400m relay - 2:23.71
- Malcolm Pennix, long jump - 7.78m / 25-6.25
- Jonathan Ilori, triple jump - 15.05m / 49-4.5
- Jacob Bullinger, weight throw - 19.51m / 64-0.25
- Brooks Mosier, shot put - 17.19m / 56-4.75
- Laura Roxberg, 1000m run - 2:45.63 (new personal record)
- Bailey Belvis, mile run - 5:01.33
- Women's 4x800m relay - 9:12.64
- Heather Green, pole vault - 3.65m / 11-11.75
- Kearsten Peoples, shot put - 15.97m / 52-4.75
- Kearsten Peoples, weight throw - 18.79m / 61-7.75
Personal Best Marks:
- Andy Schuckenbrock, 60m hurdles - 8.40
- Hayden Legg, mile run - 4:27.05
- Merid Seleshi, mile run - 4:12.62
- Max Storms, mile run - 4:14.80
- Phil Bascio, 3000m run - 8:57.31
- Mitch Hatten, high jump - 2.02m / 6-7.5
- Brian Duncan, weight throw - 18.81m / 61-8.5
- Nick Sublett, weight throw - 15.52m / 50-11
- Cara Forte, 60m dash - 7.86
- Sha'Rone Greenlaw, 60m hurdles - 9.00
- Kelcy Vanarsdall, 60m hurdles - 9.42
- Jasmine Webb, 600m run - 1:36.60
- Emilee Dailey, high jump - 1.66m / 5-5.25
- Maggie Givens, pole vault - 3.65m / 11-11.75
- Katrine Haarklau, shot put - 13.23m / 43-5
- Morgan Whitson, shot put - 13.09m / 42-11.5
- Bethany Pfeiffer, weight throw - 17.57m / 57-7.75
Next up for the Tigers is the Kentucky Invitational next weekend, Jan. 25-26, in Lexington. For the latest updates on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.