Kearsten Peoples (left), Head Coach Brett Halter (center), and Jill Rushin (right) at the NCAA Championships
March 15, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, NM. - The Tigers closed out the NCAA Indoor Championships on Saturday with a pair of All-American performances in the shot put from juniors Kearsten Peoples and Jill Rushin. Peoples led the way for the black and gold with a third-place finish, marking in at 17.30m (56-9.25), while Rushin placed sixth with a best throw of 16.83m (55-2.75).
The women entered the weekend ranked at No. 25 in the nation and emerged in 16th overall after the 11 points earned by both Peoples and Rushin. This is the highest team finish for the Tigers since 2001 when the women placed seventh, and the sixth-highest in Mizzou women's track & field history.
Peoples' performance in the shot put was also the highest since 2001 for an individual event, when the distance medley won the NCAA title with Ashley Wysong, Sunny Gilbert, Ann Marie Brooks, and Kerry Hils.
"I'm proud of the tremendous efforts from both Kearsten and Jill. We learned a lot this weekend and will enjoy what we have accomplished and look forward to getting back to work in preparation for the outdoor season," Head Coach Brett Halter said. "We know Kearsten really wanted that championship, but we will go back to work and look forward to the Outdoor Championships. For Jill, this was her first trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships. It's a terrific accomplishment to make the field of 16, and even better that she made the podium today."
This is Peoples' second All-American performance for the weekend after she placed seventh in the weight throw Friday night with her toss of 20.87m (68-5.75). This is also her sixth career All-American honor and highest finish yet at the NCAA Championships, topping the trio of sixth-place performances from the 2013 (shot put) and 2012 (shot put, discus) Outdoor Championships.
Rushin entered the competition ranked 14th in the field with her PR of 16.90m (55-5.5) from the Collegiate Challenge three weeks ago. She improved upon that ranking to earn her first career All-American finish on her second throw of the night.
"I went into the competition with one of the best warm-up series I've ever had, so I felt really good and was just trying to stay relaxed," Rushin said. "Even though I fouled on my first attempt, I was able to stay positive and hit my top mark on the next throw. I'm just proud and so happy that we got two Mizzou throwers in the top eight."
The Tigers now look forward to opening up the outdoor season at the end of the month with the Texas Relays in Austin from March 27 - 29. For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
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