COLUMBIA, Mo. - After a successful indoor season that saw two Tigers earn All-America honors, the Mizzou track and field program will begin its 2010 outdoor season this weekend with the annual Audrey J. Walton Combined Events Carnival and the Missouri Relays. The two events will span three days while overlapping on Friday (March 26). The combined events carnival will begin Thursday (March 25) at noon and will resume Friday at 10 a.m. The men's decathlon, women's heptathlon along with the high school boy's and girl's pentathlon will be held at the meet. The Missouri Relays, which features a variety of collegiate and high school talent, will begin Friday at noon and resume Saturday at 10 a.m.
Mizzou is coming off of another successful indoor season under the direction of head coach Rick McGuire, who will begin his final outdoor season this weekend. Three Tigers - Nick Adcock (Kansas City, Mo.), Lars Rise (Trondheim, Norway) and Shannon Leinert (Eureka, Mo.) - qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships with both Adcock and Rise earning All-America honors with fourth and fifth place finishes in the heptathlon, respectively. Both will compete in the decathlon at this weekend's combined events carnival.
Not only did the Tigers see plenty of success on the national scene during the indoor season, but Mizzou also saw plenty of its athletes excel at the Big 12 Championships, highlighted by Adcock and women's middle distance runner Layne Moore (Emporia, Kan.), who both claimed Big 12 titles. Adcock did so in impressive fashion, winning the men's heptathlon with a Big 12 meet- and school-record point total of 5,938. The conference title was Adcock's second in the heptathlon during his career; the other came back in 2008. That mark earned him the second overall seed at the NCAA Championships and helped him earn US Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Regional Field Athlete of the Year honors. He finished the season ranked second nationally in the heptathlon.
Moore was equally as impressive at the Big 12 Championships as she made up four positions on the final lap of the women's 1,000m run to claim her first-ever Big 12 Championship. She also competed in the 800m run, an event in which she will look to make her presence felt in during the outdoor season.
The 2010 outdoor campaign will also feature a variety of other exciting storylines for the Tigers. Leinert, who was the league's outdoor 800m champion in 2009, will begin the defense of that title starting this weekend. Also, a variety of men's middle distance runners, in particular Blake Irwin (Bettnedorf, Iowa) and Aaron Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo.) will look to return to the NCAA Regional Championships in the men's 800m run.
Also, junior Chris Holly (Topeka, Kan.) will make his first appearance in the hammer throw this weekend. Holly is the 2009 Junior College National Champion in the event and will look to make his mark at the NCAA Division I level this season. Also, a variety of javelin throwers, including Asa Wyatt (Poplar Bluff, Mo.), will make their debuts this weekend.
Looking at the Missouri Relays, the meet will also showcase some of the top local high school talent from around the area. Fans are encouraged to watch all ages and events throughout the weekend at Audrey J. Walton Track & Field Complex. For all the latest on Mizzou track and field, along with complete recaps from each day's action this weekend, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.