April 25, 2012
Columbia, MO - Coming off a week of long travel, numerous personal best, and four school records, the University of Missouri Men's and Women's Track & Field teams will look to keep the momentum going into yet another busy week of meets. The Tigers kicked off action this afternoon at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas with the ESU Midweek Open. Tomorrow, Missouri will begin competition at the 103rd Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. The Tigers will also have athletes competing at the Kip Janverin Open at Simpson College in Des Moines.
Last week saw two Tigers better their school record marks, as Kearsten Peoples (Ottawa, KS) in the shot put and Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, MO) in the 400-meter hurdles once again improved upon their all-time best. Joining Peoples and Farmer in Missouri history were junior distance runners Max Storms (Kansas City, MO) in the 10,000 meters and Dan Quigley (St. Louis, MO) in the 5,000 meters.
Wednesday afternoon in Emporia saw another Tiger add her name to the all-time Missouri Track & Field greats.
Freshman Katrine Haarklau (Bergan, Norway) walked away victorious in the women's pole vault with a school record jump of 4.20 meters (13'9.25"). The performance breaks Jennifer Bennett's previous record by three inches and moves Haarklau into the top 14 in the NCAA this spring in the pole vault.
"Absolutely thrilling day for Katrine! I believe we are just seeing what her actual potential may be," said Associate Head Coach Dan Lefever. "More big bars to come, but this was a really fun day."
The Tiger lady throwers continued their hot streak as well, with junior Cortni Ervin
(Marshall, MO) leading the way. Ervin won the shot put with a throw of 15.65 meters (51'4.25") and placed second behind teammate Melissa Coil
(Clark, MO) in the hammer throw with a mark of 56.92 meters (186'9"). Coil won the hammer competition with a toss of 57.18 meters (187'7"). Also victorious were sophomores Bethany Pfeiffer
(Boonville, MO) in the javelin throw with a performance of 45.16 meters (148'2") and Camille Hayes
(Indianapolis, IN) in the high jump at 1.72 meters (5'7.75").
Other notable performances on Wednesday came from Heather Green (Jefferson City, MO) finishing second behind Haarklau in the pole vault in 3.95 meters (12'11.5"), and the tandem of Laura Greenfield (Liberty, MO) and Katie Evans (Powersville, MO) in the shot put with season best throws of 15.08 meters (49'5.75") and 14.89 meters (48'10.25") respectively.
Highlighting the day for the men in Emporia was the performance of senior Asa Wyatt (Poplar Bluff, MO). Wyatt placed second in the javelin with a season best mark of 60.63 meters (198'11"). Also winning their events were Tyrell Everett (Wichita, KS) in the 800 meters, Brian Duncan (Iberia, MO) in the hammer throw, and Tim Opfer (Higginsville, MO) in the discus.
Thursday night at the Drake Relays, the Tigers will begin competition with the women's 5,000 meters. Past NCAA qualifiers Kinsey Farren (Dallas, TX) and Bailey Belvis (Prosper, TX) will be taking the track for the event. Farren is fresh off her strong performance in the 10,000 meters three weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational. Friday's individual competition for the women will be highlighted by the freshman duo of Peoples and Jill Rushin (Jackson, MO) in the shot put. Peoples comes into the weekend ranked fifth in the NCAA with Rushin not far behind also in the top 30.
Other events to watch for Lady Tigers will be the javelin throw where Haarklau, Pfeiffer, and Hailey Twietmeyer (Cheney, KS) will compete on Friday. Saturday will feature Coil and Peoples in the hammer throw and 2012 Big 12 Indoor Track Mile Champion Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, KS) in the 1500 meters.
The Tiger men will feature many individuals not only looking to win the traditional Drake Relays flag, but also improve upon their NCAA West Regional rankings. Back in action this week after taking last week off are juniors Malcom Pennix (South Bend, IN) and Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, IA). Pennix is currently ranked fifth in the NCAA with a season best jump of 7.75 meters (25'5.25"). For Irwin, the trip to Drake means getting the opportunity to shine in his home state. A five-time Drake Relays Champion and Relays Athlete of the Meet in high school, Irwin will be trying to add another title in the 800-meters on Saturday afternoon.
Also competing in individual events for Missouri will be MaCauley Garton (Shawnee, KS) in the javelin and Brooks Mosier (Lee's Summit, MO) in the shot put on Friday. On Saturday, Mosier and Opfer will compete in the discus, Jacob Bullinger (Jackson, MO) in the hammer throw, Jeremy Lampley (Ballwin, MO) and Jonathan Ilori (United Kingdom) in the triple jump, and Iowa native Kellyn Fogarty (Marshalltown, IA) in the 400-meter hurdles.
The weekend will also feature many unique relays over the course of the meet. On the women's side, the sprint medley team of Farmer, Lauren Flaker (Columbia, MO), Cara Forte (Kansas City, MO), and Liz Reida (Springfield, MO) will be one to keep an eye on. Highlighting the relay entries for the men will be the 4x1600 meter relay team of Quigley, Storms, Kyle Rood (St. Peters, MO), and Ricky West (Scarborough, Ontario).
"The Drake Relays have a rich history, which our program has been very involved with since the beginning. We're looking forward to continuing the momentum of our great performances from last week into the Relays this weekend, but also to have some fun," said Head Track & Field Coach Brett Halter. "We're continuing to work hard each day in preparation for the championship portion of the season."
Full results and a recap from both the Drake Relays and Kip Janverin Open can be found on mutigers.com following each meet.
Missouri will have next week off before traveling to Manhattan, Kansas for the Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 11-13.
For all the latest on Missouri Track & Field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField