May 25, 2013
Results | Photo Gallery
Austin, Tx. - Day Two of the NCAA West Preliminary Round began with a six-hour delay as torrential rain and lightning strikes quickly forced a retreat into the neighboring football stadium. The competition must go on, however, and the Tigers responded well to the unexpected turn of events after the 8:00 p.m. restart. The squad emerged from the day with two more NCAA Championship qualifications as freshman Markesh Woodson and sophomore Katrine Haarklau both punched their tickets to the Eugene, OR, finals.
First on the track was Haarklau, whose competition was put on hold for six hours after opening height to wait out the weather. Despite the delay, she emerged with her strongest showing in the pole vault yet this season, only missing one attempt out of the four heights.
"We're all thrilled. It's been a struggle this year, and really having it come together at the end is big. She was a pro today, competed awesome in one of the best competitions she's ever had," said Coach Dan Lefever. "This was one of the most challenging competitions I've ever seen, with warming up three times, and not knowing when you're going to jump. Then having a headwind when we came back to jump the second time. And for her to have only one miss, it's huge. She came ready to play and that's what we saw."
The competition ended when the advancing 12 were decided, which came at a season-best mark of 4.11m (13-5.75) for Haarklau. The weekend isn't over yet for the two-time Missouri School Record holder, as she will compete for her second Championship bid tomorrow in the javelin.
Next up was Woodson, who kicked off the track events for the black and gold against a tough 100m dash field which included 11 of the top 25 sprinters in the nation. He emerged with the fourth-fastest time, hitting 10.33 to finish second in his heat.
"I felt like I could have done a lot better today, but I'm still glad I made it to Oregon. [Moving forward] I'm concentrating on sleep and eat well, perform well at practice, then go to Oregon and execute well. I know I can surprise a lot of people," said Woodson, before recognizing his support both at the track and back home with teammates, coaches, friends and family. "Shouts out to all the teammates. It's a big family and I love it, love them all. M-I-Z."
Woodson is the lone freshman to qualify out of the West Preliminary Round in the 100m dash, and will be joined only by one freshman out of the East Prelim in Eugene for the final round. This will be the first Mizzou appearance at the NCAA Championships in the 100m dash since 1987, when Victor Edet finished fifth in 10.32. Woodson already has a fifth-place finish under his belt, earned this past indoor season in the 60m dash.
"My philosophy on this weekend was to kind of put pride aside and go out and compete. This meet has the potential to run very long, it stops and starts, and you just have to learn how to roll with them I was very happy that both were able to go out there and compete and get the results they wanted," said Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson of Woodson and senior Malcolm Pennix, who qualified in the long jump yesterday. "After what [Markesh] did indoors, I think he has already proven that he is mature beyond his years. His disposition in the heat of battle, he makes my job easy. Just very happy that he is able to maintain an even keel throughout the season and here we are going into the biggest meet of the year and he's in the best shape of his life."
Other performances from today include a 16th place finish for senior Blake Irwin in the 800m run, less than a second shy of Championship qualification, and freshman Sam Dickerson in the 3k Steeplechase. Sophomore Kearsten Peoples also had her first taste of competition today in the discus, and will continue tomorrow with her main event: the shot put.
Other competitors tomorrow include senior Laura Roxberg in the final round of the 1500m run, sophomore Macauley Garton in the javelin, sophomore Jill Rushin and senior Cortni Ervin in the shot put, freshman Tony Carodine and sophomore Jonathan Ilori in the triple jump, junior Kyle Wessel in the pole vault, junior Hailey Twietmeyer and senior Bethany Pfeiffer in the javelin, and seniors Bailey Belvis and Dan Quigley in the 5000m run.
For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.