Jan. 8, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou Track & Field team is set to kick off 2014 with the first-ever Missouri Opener on Friday, Jan. 10, in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. The Tigers will be joined on their home track by eight other area teams. Events will begin at 2:00 p.m. with the women’s weight throw and the 60-meter hurdles.
“It’s just an opportunity to get going after essentially six weeks of challenging training that starts with the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Head Coach Brett Halter. “We come back for our winter camp, then Friday is just an opportunity to get going again and get back into the competition rhythm. Our goal is always just to get through January and really start rolling again in February.”
The Tigers had their first performances of the indoor season before the holiday break, when junior Jill Rushin and senior Katie Evans made the trip to Ames, Ia., for the Iowa State Holiday Preview on December 7. Both walked away from the competition with new Missouri All-Time Top Ten marks in the shot put, with Rushin coming in at No. 2 and Evans at No. 6.
Among the 47 Tigers making their season debut on Friday are six returning Missouri All-Time Top Ten performers. Highlighting this list for the men is current Missouri School Record Holder in the 60-meter dash, sophomore Markesh Woodson. Woodson ran 6.60 in his debut season as a Tiger, ending the year with a Southeastern Conference title and All-American finish (fifth) in the event.
Also making their first appearance of the year is the duo of triple jump sophomores, Tony Carodine and Jonathan Ilori. Ilori currently holds the No. 4 spot on All-Time Top Ten list for the triple jump after his 15.53m (50-11.5) performance at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge last year. Carodine is not far behind at No. 6 with a 15.32m (50-3.25) mark from the 2013 Rod McCravy Memorial Meet at Kentucky.
The women’s team will also have three returning All-Time Top Ten performers, highlighted by 60-meter dash School Record Holder, sophomore Chelsie Stevens. This will be Stevens’ first performance at the Hearnes Center since her 7.56 record-breaking performance last year during the Missouri Collegiate Challenge.
Joining her from the women's record book are juniors Morgan Whitson and Maggie Givens. Whitson earned the No. 6 spot on the Pentathlon All-Time Top Ten list after her 3,828-point performance at the 2013 SEC Championships, while Givens holds No. 8 for the pole vault with her indoor PR of 3.65m (11-11.75).
A group of 24 freshmen will also highlight the evening as they make their indoor track & field debuts in the Mizzou black and gold.
For more information on the meet, visit the team’s home meet page here. For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
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