COLUMBIA, Mo. -The Mizzou track and field program will begin its 2012 season at home on Friday as it hosts archrival Kansas in an annual dual meet between the two programs. The meet will be a rare chance for fans to see a track and field dual meet and will begin at 1:30 p.m. with the women's weight throw inside the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. The track events will begin at 3 p.m. with the running of the 60m hurdles. The meet will commence with the running of the 4x400m relay at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
The Mizzou track and field program is beginning its second season under the direction of head coach Brett Halter, and this season should offer plenty of excitement as there will be plenty of fresh faces, both on the competition floor and in the coaching box. Halter made a pair of impactful coaching hires during the offseason, bringing in Kareem Streete-Thompson (formerly of Florida State) and Joe Lynn(formerly of Grand Valley State) to oversee the Tigers sprinters/jumpers and the men's distance programs, respectively.
With the additions of Streete-Thompson and Lynn to a coaching staff that already featured experienced and knowledgeable coaches in Dan Lefever, Rebecca Wilmes and Derrick Peterson, Halter and the Tigers appear to have all the pieces in place for a successful indoor campaign, both on the men's and women's side.
Looking at the meet against Kansas on Friday, 2012 will mark the fourth-straight year that Mizzou and Kansas will hook up in a dual meet. Mizzou's men and women claimed the first two showdowns against Kansas in 2009 and 2010, but came up short on both sides last year in what was a highly-contested meet in Lawrence. Prior to this four-year stretch, Mizzou and Kansas had not competed in an official dual meet since 1976. In true dual meets, the Tigers men hold a 36-18 advantage over the Jayhawks while the women hold a slight lead at 2-1.
Looking at the Tigers on the women's side, there is plenty of talent returning in nearly all of the event groups, highlighted by sprinter/hurdler Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, Mo.), who is coming off of a 2011 outdoor season that saw her qualify for the NCAA Championshipsin the 400m hurdles. Farmer mainly focuses on the 600-yard run and the relays events during the indoor season but looks primed for a breakout in 2012.
As always, Mizzou's throwers will be another group to look out for as All-Big 12 honorees Laura Greenfield (Liberty, Mo.), Melissa Coil (Clark, Mo.) and Megan Collins(Lee's Summit, Mo.) return this season.
The women's distance team should also feature plenty of talent, including All-Big 12 honoree Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, Kan.) along with Bailey Belvis (Prosper, Texas) and Kaitie Vanatta (Littleton, Colo.). Also, former Big 12 1,000m champion Layne Moore(Emporia, Kan.) returns for her senior season.
Captain Kelcy Vanarsdall (Buckner, Mo.) also should give the Tigers a presence in the combined events on the women's side while Camille Hayes (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Stacy Swineburg (Camdenton, Mo.) should make their presence felt in the high jump. Heather Green(Jefferson City, Mo.) also returns in the pole vault for her junior season.
On the men's side there will be plenty of fresh faces to go along with a talented group of upperclassmen that includes shot putter Brooks Mosier (Lee's Summit, Mo.), former Big 12 Champion Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, Iowa) and sophomore sprinter Tre' Chambers (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who basically rewrote the Tiger record book in his freshman season. He became the first Tiger in program history to qualify for the 60m and 200m dash finals in the same Big 12 Championshipsand earned All-Big 12 honors in both events as a freshman last season. He also nearly reset the school record in the 60m dash.
Also, Mizzou should have a strong presence in the horizontal jumps with the return of triple jumper Jeremy Lampley (Ballwin, Mo.) and the addition of junior college transfer Malcolm Pennix(South Bend, Ind.). Pennix is the reigning NJCAA National Champion in the long jump and owns a personal-best jump of 7.67m (25-2), a mark that should he clear as a Tiger would rank him in some elite Tiger company.
For a complete recap of the meet and all the latest on Mizzou track and field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField.