Feb. 16, 2011
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou track and field program will return home for one final tune-up before the Big 12 Indoor Championships as it will host the Missouri Collegiate Challenge at the Hearnes Center Field House this Friday (Feb. 18), beginning at 2 p.m. The Tigers will then turnaround and host the annual All-Comers meet on Saturday (Feb. 19) in which the track and field program gives athletes from around the community the opportunity to compete at the Hearnes Center Field House in a timed, officiated meet. That event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The Tigers have put together a solid indoor season thus far and will look at Friday's Collegiate Challenge as the last chance to improve their marks heading into the Big 12 Indoor Championship, which will be held next weekend at Nebraska. Several Tigers boast very good marks that have them ranked among the Big 12 elite, including both Lars Rise (Trondheim, Norway) and Brian Hancock (Monroe City, Mo.), who both rank first in the Big 12 in their respective events. Rise owns the league's top mark in the heptathlon with a point total of 5,578 points, which he scored at the Bill Bergan Combined Events several weeks back. He is also 10th nationally in the event. Hancock checks in at first in the pole vault with a top clearance of 5.25m (17-2 ¾) so far this season, which has him ranked 19th nationally.
Aside from Hancock and Rise, who a appear to be headed toward one of the league's top seeds at the Big 12 Championships, several others also look primed to make a move up the league standings this weekend, particularly in the throws. On the men's side, the Tigers' top two shot putters - Brooks Mosier (Lee's Summit, Mo.) and Corey Jones (Boonville, Mo.) - both set new personal-bests at last week's ISU Classic as did Mizzou's top weight thrower, Chris Holly (Topeka, Kan.), who is now the league's No. 2 weight thrower. On the women's side, freshman Kearsten Peoples (Ottawa, Kan.) has been turning heads in the shot put and she has even reset the Mizzou freshman record in the event this season and is currently ranked fourth on Mizzou's all-time throws list with a top mark of 15.86m (52-0 ½). She will look to improve that mark this weekend.
On the track, sophomore Leslie Farmer
(Jefferson City, Mo.) has quietly put together a very solid indoor season and is currently ranked fifth in the league in the 600-yard run at 1:21.86. Farmer was an All-Big 12 honoree in the event last season and should threaten to finish among the top runners in the league later this month. She also owns the Tigers' top 400m time as she will look to guide the 4x400m relay team to another All-Big 12 honor.
Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, Kan.) currently owns the Big 12's second-best 1,000m run time and is an All-Big 12 honoree in the event from a season ago. She has been a standout in both the 1,000m run and the mile all season and will look to improve her marks before the Big 12 Championships this weekend.
Aaron Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo.) had a great performance last weekend in the men's 800m run at the Tyson Invitational and clocked a season-best 1:50.22. An NCAA Outdoor National Championship qualifier from a season ago, Dixon seems to be running as well as he has all season long and will have one more shot this weekend to lower his time heading into the Big 12 Championships.
Also, high jumpers Tim Williams (Waynesville, Mo.) and Stacy Swineburg (Camdenton, Mo.) had huge meets last time Mizzou competed at home as both cleared massive personal-bests at the season-opening Missouri Invitational. Both rank in the league's top 10 and will look for one more big jump this weekend as they prepare for the Big 12 Championships.
For all the latest on Mizzou track and field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField.