April 28, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - As the 2010 outdoor track and field schedule closes in on the postseason, the Mizzou track and field program will head to its final regular season meet of 2010, the Arkansas Twilight, hosted by the Razorbacks at John McDonnell Field on Friday (April 30). The meet is slated to begin at 9 a.m. with the hammer throw. But, all of the track events will be run in the evening, starting at 6 p.m. The majority of the races will be run under the lights, concluding with the 4x400m relays at 10 p.m.
Mizzou is coming off of consecutive weekends in which they participated in a pair of relay meets - the Kansas Relays and the Drake Relays. Mizzou claimed the Kansas Relays title on both the men's and women's side as they claimed more points in the relay events than any other team on hand at the competition. The Tigers also had a fine showing at the Drake Relays as the men's 4x800m relay and distance medley relay teams each turned in times that now rank in the Mizzou all-time top 10 in the respective events.
The Arkansas Twilight will provide the Tigers with a chance to improve their seedings for the Big 12 Championships, which will be held at Audrey J. Walton Stadium from May 14-16. It will also serve as a chance for several student-athletes to improve their standing in the West Region descending order list. 2010 marks the first season that the NCAA will host just two track regional championships - the West Regional and the East Regional. This year, the top 48 athletes on the regional descending order list in each individual event will advance to the regional championships. Also, the top 24 relay teams from each region will advance the regional meet. Once at the regional championships, student-athletes will then compete for a spot at the NCAA Championships.
In the past, a student-athlete needed to meet qualifying standard to earn a spot at the regional meet, a standard that was changed during the offseason.
If the declarations were to be announced today, Mizzou overall would have athletes represented in 19 different events, 10 on the men's side and nine on the women's side. The two Tigers who boast the top regional ranks are Lars Rise (Trondheim, Norway) and Nick Adcock (Kansas City, Mo.), who rank second and third nationally, respectively, in the men's decathlon. They also rank 2-3 in the West Region as only Oregon's Ashton Eaton has posted a better decathlon score this season. The men are also well-represented in the 800m run as both Aaron Dixon (Lee's Summit, Mo.) and Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, Iowa) rank in the West Region's top 35 runners at 800m. Dixon comes in at No. 27 regionally with his time of 1:50.11, which was run at the Oregon Pepsi Invitational. He clocked an 800m split of 1:47.80 at the Drake Relays last weekend and will look to build upon that performance at Arkansas on Friday.
On the women's side, sophomore Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, Mo.) boasts the highest regional rank at No. 16 in the 400m hurdles as her time of 59.76 at the Drake Relays was a new school record and will likely qualify her for the NCAA West Regional. Also of note are Layne Moore (Emporia, Kan.) and Shannon Leinert (Eureka, Mo.) who rank 23rd and 31st, respectively, in the 800m run among runners from the West Region. Also, Megan Collins (Lee's Summit, Mo.) ranks 26th in the West Region in the women's discus with her throw of 49.44m (162-2) at the Drake Relays last weekend.
The Arkansas Twilight offers fans a unique chance to watch a track and field meet under the lights as all of the track events will be run from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. Also, the majority of the field events do not start until 1 p.m. on Friday. Last year's Arkansas Twilight was cancelled due to inclement weather. But prior to its cancellation, Mizzou claimed three event titles, two by Chris Rohr and another by Krishna Lee. Rohr claimed the discus and hammer throw titles while Lee claimed the women's discus title. Also, Brian Hancock (Monroe City, Mo.) placed second in the men's pole vault before the bad weather set in.
For a complete recap of the Tigers' trip to Arkansas, stay tuned to MUTigers.com. A live blog and along with live results will also be provided at MUTigers.com.