May 11, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri Track & Field teams begin competition today in the 2012 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships. This years meet is being hosted by Kansas State University at the R.V. Christian Track Complex in Manhattan, Kansas. Competition in the three-day event will kick off at 11 a.m. with the women's javelin and conclude Sunday afternoon.
After taking last weekend off from competition, the Tigers will have many athletes to keep an eye on over the weekend. On women's side, freshman Kearsten Peoples (Ottawa, KS) comes in ranked fifth in the NCAA in the shot put with a season best mark of 17.39 meters (57'0.75"). Peoples also comes in the weekend with a top 25 NCAA mark in the discus. She owns the Missouri school records in both events. Joining Peoples in the field is fellow freshman Katrine Haarklau (Bergan, Norway). Haarklau will be counted upon in multiple events including the pole vault, where she set a Missouri school record two weeks ago with a jump of 4.20 meters (13'9.25").
On the track the Tigers are lead by a pair of All Big 12 performers from this past Indoor Track & Field season. Senior Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, MO) will once again look to better her Missouri school record of 57.84 in the 400-meter hurdles. Farmer has broken her own school record twice already this season. 2012 Big 12 Indoor Track Mile Champion Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, KS) will look to repeat the feat this weekend as she is entered in the 1500 meters. Last time out for Roxberg, she placed second in the 1500 at the Drake Relays in a personal best and #2 all-time Missouri best time of 4:18.85.
Other Tigers primed to have a big weekend include Jill Rushin
(Jackson, MO) in the shot put, Hailey Twietmeyer
(Cheney, KS) in the javelin, Morgan Whitson
(Moberly, MO) in the high jump, Heather Green
(Jefferson City, MO) in the pole vault, Kaitie Vanatta
(Littleton, CO) in the 5,000 meters, and Kinsey Farren
(Dallas, TX) in the 10,000 meters. All these Tigers, along with many others, have marks which should land them in the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas in two weeks.
The Tiger men have plenty to be excited about as well. 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships long jump qualifier Malcom Pennix (South Bend, IN) once again finds himself among the nation's elite this season with a best jump of 7.75 meters (25'5.25"). Two weeks ago Pennix was crowned Drake Relays Champion in the long jump and looks to be on the top of the podium again this weekend.
Like their lady counterparts, the Tiger men will also come into the Big 12 Championships with a very strong contingent of entries in the throwing events. Tigers to watch for there include Tim Opfer (Higginsville, MO) in the discus, Brooks Mosier (Lee's Summit, MO) in the shot put, MaCauley Garton (Shawnee, KS) in the javelin, and 2012 Big 12 Indoor Champion Jacob Bullinger (Jackson, MO) in the hammer throw.
2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field All American Ricky West (Scarborough, Ontario) leads the Tiger charge on the track. West comes into the weekend ranked eighth in the 800 meters with a best time of 1:47.30. Joining West in the 800 will be former Big 12 Champion Blake Irwin (Bettendorf, IA).
The duo of Max Storms (Kansas City, MO) and Dan Quigley (St. Louis, MO) will compete in 5,000 meters on Sunday afternoon for the Tigers. Storms and Quigley have each set Missouri school records this spring in the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters respectively. Storms, Quigley, West, and Kyle Rood (St. Peters, MO) also won the 4x1600 meter relay at the Drake Relays two weeks back. Rood will compete in the 1500 this weekend.
Full results and a recap from Manhattan can be found on mutigers.com upon the conclusion of events each day.
For all the latest on Mizzou track and field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField