Missouri freshman Jonathon Ilori
May 16, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri Men's and Women's Track and Field teams ended the Big 12 Track & Field Championships in dramatic fashion, as the Tigers set two more Missouri school records on Sunday. In all, the weekend saw 4 new records set, all coming from the Tiger ladies squad. To go along with records set by Leslie Farmer (Jefferson City, MO) in the 400-meter hurdles and Kearsten Peoples (Ottawa, KS) in the shot put on Saturday, Peoples broke her own mark in the discus on Sunday and Laura Roxberg (Overland Park, KS) joined her shortly after in shattering the 1,500 meter record.
In team scoring the Missouri women finished seventh with 60 points, while the men were tenth with 52 points. The Big 12 was the only men's conference in the NCAA where all teams scored more than 50, displaying the overall depth and strength of the conference.
"A great, competitive weekend for the Tigers!", said Men's and Women's Head Track and Field Coach Brett Halter. "Our focus and competitive efforts were certainly as good as they have been all year."
For the women, Sunday belonged to Peoples and Roxberg. Coming into the discus competition as the fifth ranked thrower in the Big 12, Peoples rose to the occasion and to win with her effort on her 4th attempt. Her toss of 54.38 meters (178'5"), broke her own school record set two weeks prior at the Drake Relays. It was the second school record in as many days for Peoples, as she also bettered her own school record on Saturday finishing in the runner-up spot in the shot put with a throw of 17.65 meters (57'11").
"Kearsten worked awful hard over the last year to have the opportunity to line up against the nation's best and show everyone what she can do," commented Halted. "I am thrilled for her and proud of her intense efforts leading into the NCAA Championships."
Roxberg found herself in a familiar position as well, running away from the 1,500-meter field early on to claim the Big 12 title just as she did in the indoor championships in the mile. Going out in a blistering 2:12 through the 800-meter mark, Roxberg finished with a time of 4:16.71, nearly two seconds better than the previous school record mark set by Tiger All-American Ann Marie Brooks in 2001.
"Laura ran a really bold race, taking it out hard from the gun," said women's distance coach Rebecca Wilmes. "She executed a gutsy race plan and it was just thrilling to watch her win it."
Also adding to the Tiger point total for the women on the final day of competition was the 4x100 meter relay team of Lauren Flaker (Columbia, MO), Sierra Gant (Wichita, KS), Cara Forte (Kansas City, MO), and She'Rone Greenlaw (Chicago, IL) finishing in seventh place with a time of 46.76. Two Tigers earned All-Big 12 honors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the freshman duo of Courtney Wood (Neosho, MO) and Liz Reida (Springfield, MO) placed sixth and eighth respectively. Wood ran 10:52.31 and Reida 11:02.66, personal best for each. Kaitie Vanatta (Littleton, CO) also received All-Big 12 honors once again, placing fifth in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 16:36.75.
Coming back from her record setting performance on Saturday in the 400-meter hurdle preliminaries, Farmer finished seventh in a loaded field. On the weekend, 7 of the 8 finalists in the event had at least one performance hitting the USA Olympic Trials "B" standard. "Leslie had a good weekend in her final Big 12 Championship. Her performance in the prelims was an example of what it takes to make finals in some events in our league; and it took her running a school record", said coach Derrick Peterson. "I'm very proud of every accomplishment Farmer has had since we started this journey."
The Missouri men had many great performances as well, highlighted by exciting runner up finishes from Ricky West (Scarborough, Ontario) in the 800 meters, Jonathon Ilori (United Kingdom) in the triple jump, and Dan Quigley (St. Louis, MO) in the 5,000 meters.
The 2012 Big 12 Indoor Champion in the 800, West controlled much of the last half of the race and ended up second with a time of 1:47.33. "Ricky ran tough this weekend. Though he came up a bit short of a championship, he ran a great race and did everything right," commented Peterson. "West's dedication to being great is continuing to be displayed in the championship season. I look for him to add more accolades to the rich tradition of 800 meter runners at the University of Missouri."
For Ilori, it was his first taste of Big 12 Championship competition, after redshirting the winter season. The freshman did not disappoint, leaping to a personal best of 15.57 meters (51'1") in the triple jump. Teammate Jeremy Lampley (Ballwin, MO) was right behind in seventh with a mark of 15.02 meters (49'3.5").
The men's 5,000 meters brought the crowd to it's feet as many different individuals led at points throughout. While never taking the lead, Quigley ran in the top 5 of the large and NCAA deep field most of the race. Coming from fifth going into the final homestretch, Quigley just ran out of room in catching eventual champion George Alex of Oklahoma. Quigley's time of 14:01.84 was just behind George's time of 14:01.17.
"I couldn't be more proud of the race Dan ran," said men's distance coach Joe Lynn. "Going in we just wanted to position ourselves to score as many points for the team as possible, whatever place that may be. Dan ran smart and tough, never giving in on the many lead changes and surges . This definitely gives us confidence moving into the next portion of our season."
Also receiving All-Big 12 honors for the Tigers was senior Kellyn Fogarty (Marshalltown, IA) in 400-meter hurdles. Fogarty finished in seventh with a time of 52.70. The 4x400 meter relay team of Ryan Blackwell (Fenton, MO), Blake Irwin (Bettendork, IA), Matt Pickerel (Columbia, MO), and West ran a season best time of 3:10.69 to place seventh as well.
The Tigers will now wait to see who gets selected to compete in next week's NCAA West Regional Preliminary Round held at the University of Texas in Austin, TX. The field is expected to be announced on Thursday, with the top 48 individuals declared in each event selected.
Follow the team on twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
Missouri Big 12 Championships Performances:
|1st||Kearsten Peoples||FR||Missouri||54.38m||178'5" *|
|2nd||Kearsten Peoples||FR||Missouri||17.65m||57'11" *|
|1st||Ryann Krais||SR||Kansas St.||5661 pts|
|11th||Kelcy Vanarsdall||JR||Missouri||4839 pts|
|15th||Morgan Whitson||FR||Missouri||4677 pts|
800 Meter Run
|1st||Natalja Piliusina||SO||Oklahoma St.||02:05.2|
1,500 Meter Run
5,000 Meter Run
|1st||Natosha Rogers||JR||Texas A&M||15:57.2|
10,000 Meter Run
|1st||Natosha Rogers||JR||Texas A&M||34:18.7|
400 Meter Hurdles
3,000 Meter Steeplechase
4x100 Meter Relay
|7th||Missouri (Flaker, Forte, Gant, Greenlaw)||46.76|
4x400 Meter Relay
|9th||Missouri (Farmer, Webb, Flaker, Greenlaw)||03:45.7|
Tom Botts Invitational - Men
|1st||Nick Miller||FR||Oklahoma St.||66.00m||216'6"|
|1st||Sam Humphreys||JR||Texas A&M||78.98m||259'1"|
|1st||Kyle Wait||SO||Kansas St.||5.31m||17'5"|
800 Meter Run
|1st||Edward Kemboi||SO||Iowa St.||01:46.7|
1,500 Meter Run
5,000 Meter Run
400 Meter Hurdles
|7th||Missouri (Blackwell, Irwin, Pickerel, West)||03:10.7|
* denotes school record.
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