Brett Halter is going into his third year as Head Coach of the Mizzou Tigers
Jan. 15, 2013
Columbia, Mo. – Tigers track and field are making their official season-debut this week, as they open the SEC inaugural season at home on Friday, January 18, with the Missouri Invitational. Thirteen teams will join Mizzou at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse for the season-opener, including SIU-Edwardsville, Missouri State, Missouri Southern, and Lindenwood University.
“They’re excited,” said third-year Head Coach Brett Halter. “Obviously the distance runners have been on the grind for a little while and competing. But I think that our fall track folks, who started organized training in September, are just ready to get on the track or on the runway or in the ring.”
A few of the Tigers already had a taste of competition this indoor season, after a small contingent of MU athletes traveled to Iowa State on December 7 for the Cyclone Holiday Preview. The squad left the meet with a new school record in the shot put by sophomore Kearsten Peoples (Ottawa, KS), a shot put win for senior Brooks Mosier (Lee’s Summit, MO), a weight throw win by senior Jacob Bullinger (Jackson, MO), six new personal records, three All-Time Top Ten marks, and high expectations for a successful season. Now, after a long holiday break, the athletes are returning strong and confident for the months ahead.
“[The break is] sort of a delicate thing to try and manage,” Halter said. “From what I can tell, by-and-large everybody took care of business over holiday. Everybody went home, got rested, spent time with family, had time to reflect, but stayed connected with their training as best they could.”
With 42 underclassmen and 16 upperclassmen on the men’s side, and 29 underclassmen and 21 upperclassmen for the women, both squads have a wide range of experience to help propel them into the new SEC era.
“We have a lot of newcomers, and a lot of those newcomers are going to announce that ‘Hey, I’m not just a newcomer, I’m here to play big-time’,” Halter said. “And our upper-classmen who are stars are going to remind everybody that they’re stars. And we’ll have some emerging stars as well, who haven’t typically been in that kind of spotlight.”
Leading the way for the key returners is Peoples, whose outstanding freshman year included two outdoor Missouri School Records in the shot put and discus, an outdoor Big 12 Championship title in the discus, two All-American performances in the discus and shot put, and a fourth-place finish at the 2012 USATF Olympic Trials in the shot put. Joining her are fellow Missouri School Record Holders senior Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, KS), freshman Katrine Haarklau (Bergan, Norway), and junior Max Storms (Kansas City, MO). Two more Big 12 Champions are also returning in Roxberg and Bullinger. Rounding out the list are NCAA Qualifiers senior Malcolm Pennix (South Bend, IN), Haarklau, Roxberg, and sophomore Jill Rushin (Jackson, MO).
“Our expectations are always pretty simple: for them to do their very best. If everyone is giving their very best across the board, we have a good track team. That’s what we’re looking for,” Halter said. “As a staff, we are really impressed with the culture of this team. They have really invested. Invested smart, invested a lot of energy, and have been really diligent in what they are doing. I think they are just really eager to get going.”
Friday’s meet will kick off at 2:00 p.m. in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. For more information on the meet and the latest updates on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
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