Rise, Roxberg Highlight Day Two at Big 12s

MUTIGERS.COM <i>Laura Roxberg was the runner-up in the women's 1,000m run with a personal-best time.</i>
Laura Roxberg was the runner-up in the women's 1,000m run with a personal-best time.

Feb. 26, 2011

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LINCOLN, Neb. - The Mizzou track and field team wrapped up competition at the 2011 Big 12 Indoor Championships on Saturday (Feb. 26) and got huge performances from several student-athletes, including Lars Rise (Trondheim, Norway) and Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, Kan.) as both finished as the runner-up in their respective events. Rise took second in the heptathlon with a personal-best point total of 5,756 points while Roxberg took second in the 1,000m run at 2:45.56. In all, the Tigers had four second-place finishers at the meet and saw 14 additional athletes earn All-Big 12 honors in 11 different events on Saturday.

Rise gave the Tigers a great presence in the heptathlon throughout the meet as he set new personal-bests in the pole vault (4.70m), high jump (1.94m) and came within just 0.25 seconds of a new personal-best in the 1,000m run (2:44.60). He needed every single one of those seconds in the 1,000m run as he bested third-place Mantas Silkauskas of Kansas State by just five points in the overall competition. Rise's point total of 5,756 is a new-personal-best and came after he had his best first day ever in a heptathlon on Friday. He earns All-Big 12 honors for the sixth time in his career and has earned a spot at the NCAA Championships as his mark would have ranked second nationally heading into the weekend. His point total is an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships.

"Lars was thrilling today," associate head coach Dan Lefever said. "Obviously this was a high-caliber national field and he now stands among the best in the NCAA. He ran a great race in the 1,000m for an excellent finish to two hard-fought days of competition. I am really proud of him."

After totaling 3,243 points and ranking third after day one, Rise opened his second day with a clocking in 8.45 in the 60m hurdles, good for 872 points. He then set an indoor personal-best in the pole vault - an event that lasted nearly four hours - at 4.70m (15-5), earning him 819 points. He closed his day with a great effort in the 1,000m run by clocking in at 2:44.60, earning him 823 points, helping him edge Silkauskas by five points.

Roxberg nearly gave the Tigers their second-straight 1,000m run champion as she finished as the runner-up in the event by just 0.16 seconds with a personal-best time of 2:46.56. Roxberg led throughout most of the race but was passed late by Texas' Marielle Hall. Either way, the second-place nod for Roxberg is her best finish ever at a Big 12 Championship and is her second-straight All-Big 12 honor in the event. The sophomore will likely try and qualify for the NCAA Championships in the mile at next weekend's NCAA Qualifier.

"I am really happy with how I did - I was happy with the way that the race played out in general," Roxberg said. "I felt like I went out strong and ran really tough. Honestly, I believe I did everything that I could out there today in order to win that race, so I am pretty proud with the end result."

The men also had a standout performance in the 1,000m run as Aaron Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo.) placed third overall with a time of 1:25.18, just off of the event-winning time of 1:24.67. The race was one of the most closely contested races of the day as the top six finishers all placed within less than two seconds of each other. The race was a sense of redemption for Dixon, who was tripped up while running in the event at last year's Championships despite entering as the top seed. He has now run his two best times in the 1,000m run on the track at Nebraska and is an All-Big 12 honoree in the event this season.

Sophomore shot putter Corey Jones (Boonville, Mo.) had a great meet as well, taking home All-Big 12 honors for the first time in his career with a sixth-place nod in the event after throwing 17.49m (57-4 ¾). Jones came into the Championships as the No. 9 overall seed, but exceeded those expectations with the sixth-place nod. He was ninth at the Big 12 Championships a season ago and improved by three spots this season.

Freshman Tre Chambers (Colorado Springs, Colo.) also had a good day, following his historic performance on Friday. As the only Tiger ever to qualify in for both the Big 12 60m and 200m dash finals in the same year, Chambers began his day by finishing seventh in the 60m dash with a time of 6.83, earning his first All-Big 12 honors. He followed that mark with a seventh-place finish in the 200m dash after clocking in at 21.67, which was also third in his heat. He scored for the Tigers in both of his events, doing so as a true freshman and is an All-Big 12 honoree in both events.

Rounding out the scorers for the Tigers on day two of the championships were Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, Iowa) and Mark Hughes (Center, Mo.), who both placed eighth in their respective events. Irwin clocked a time of 1:56.66 in the 800m run while Hughes was paced at 1:12.10 in the 600-yard run. Hughes earns his first All-Big 12 award with the finish while Irwin, who is the defending Big 12 Outdoor 800m Champion, earns All-Big 12 honors for the sixth time in his career.

The women's 4x400m relay - comprised of Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, Mo.), Lana Mims (Tulsa, Okla.), Layne Moore (Emporia, Kan.) and Sierra Gant (Wichita, Kan.) - also earned All-Big 12 honors as the foursome clocked in at 3:47.29, good for eighth overall. The men also took eighth for All-Big 12 honors with a time of 3:15.09, earning All-Big 12 honors for Hughes, Chris Davis (Riverdale, Ga.), Tucker Bounds (Columbia, Mo.) and Dixon.

Stacy Swineburg (Camdenton, Mo.) and Brooks Mosier (Lee's Summit, Mo.) just missed All-Big 12 honors on Saturday as well. Swineburg took ninth in the women's high jump with a top clearance of 1.69m (5-6 ½) while Mosier also took ninth in the men's shot put at 17.05m (55-11 ¼). Freshman Jill Rushin (Jackson, Mo.) just missed All-Big 12 honors in the women's shot put as well with a personal-best toss of 15.20m (49-10 ½), placing 10th overall. Mizzou's men finished the meet in ninth place with 40 points while the women finished 12th with 19 points.

Next up for the Tigers will be their final chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships as they will head to the NCAA Qualifier at Iowa State next weekend. Mizzou will then gear up for the NCAA Indoor National Championships on March 11-12. For all the latest on Mizzou track and field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField.

All-Big 12 Honorees - Day Two - Men
Lars Rise - Second - Heptathlon
Aaron Dixon - Third - 1,000m Run
Aaron Dixon - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Corey Jones - Sixth - Shot Put
Tre' Chambers - Seventh - 60m Dash
Tre' Chambers - Seventh - 200m
Blake Irwin - Eighth - 800m Run
Mark Hughes - Eighth - 800m Run
Chris Davis - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Mark Hughes - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Tucker Bounds - Eighth - 4x400m Relay

All-Big 12 Honorees - Day Two - Women
Laura Roxberg - Second - 1,000m Run
Leslie Farmer - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Lana Mims - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Layne Moore - Eighth - 4x400m Relay
Sierra Gant - Eighth - 4x400m Relay



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