Bales charging to the line in the women's 1500 meter to take the title. (Ian Halerpin/Big 12 Conference)
May 14, 2006
The Mizzou men matched their best-ever placing in the Big 12 as done before in 2001 and 2002, improving from a ninth-place 2005 finish and a 11th-place showing in 2004.
"This weekend has been an absolute thrill," said Head Coach Dr. Rick McGuire. "We dug in and were tough all the way. No let downs. We knew we had a great team and would be able to score some points. We are in the best track conference in the nation and
Some projections had
And, as every good track and field meet should end, it came down to the final race, the Mile (Baylor's track is 440 yards) relay. Mizzou stood third with 78, but
The women finished sixth with 76 points, 56 of those coming by way of distance events.
Senior Amanda Bales (
With the win, Bales grabbed
"This was my first conference championship in the five years I've been here," said Bales. "It seemed I kept getting second and third in these races, and you never forget that. I didn't want to leave the race with effort not used, and when I pushed to the line I didn't know if I had won, but I knew I had, at one point, leaned in front of her."
That wasn't the only Mizzou highlight in the race, as the Tigers grabbed 17 points with three finalists in the race. Junior Kristin Hansen captured a new personal best, running in 4:26.25 to place fifth. Sophomore Kasey Kimball (
"It's so great to be able to come to the Big 12 Championships and have two of your teammates running right alongside", said Bales. "To be able to score 17 points in the event is awesome, I'm so proud for us."
Bales came back to be part of a two-three finish in the 5000-meter run. Senior Serena Ramsey (
Bales and Ramsey compiled a team-leading 16-point weekend and the women's 1500 coupled with the women's 800 captured 31 points along for the Tigers on the final day.
In the women's 800, it came down to three women in a near blanket finish at the line. Senior Ashley Patten finished runner-up with a 2:07.00 clocking. Sophomore Trisa Nickoley (
"We came around after 400 in 62 (seconds), which was just perfect for (Ashley and me)," said Nickoley. "We hung back and really kicked it in in the last 100."
Nickoley improved from her seventh-place finish in this event as a freshman.
"The race was real encouraging for me," Nickoley continued. "Running with this type of field, in this conference, this is something that should give me a big confidence boost."
In the women's 3000-meter steeplechase, freshman Angela Potrykus (Evergreen,
Junior Jamie Wynn added an eighth-place showing with the discus at 161-0 (49.07m).
The points continued to rack up for the Tiger men in the men's 800. Mizzou scored 18 points in the race as Tigers finished second, third, and fifth.
Junior Marcus Mayes (
NCAA-indoor Mile champion Christian Smith of
Senior Hans Uldal completed a heroic weekend with a fifth-place finish in the men's open javelin, throwing right at his personal best with a throw of 203 feet, 8 inches (62.07m). Yesterday, Uldal completed the men's decathlon with a second-place finish after nearly having to withdraw due to a severe groin injury in the high jump on Friday. Uldal accounted for 12 of the Tiger points on the weekend.
And, the points kept coming for the Tiger men. Junior Greg Bracey (
Fox Sports Midwest will air tape-delayed coverage of the meet on Friday, May 19 at Noon, central, and also on Thursday, May 25, at 1 p.m., central.
Next for the Mizzou squad is the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships in
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