June 10, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - The Tigers will take on their final challenge of the 2014 season this week as they embark for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Eight women and two men will don the black and gold in one of the largest NCAA Outdoor Finals qualifying groups in program history. Events at the Historic Hayward Field will kick off Wednesday and go through Saturday evening.
Kaitlyn Fischer, FR (10,000-meter run)
Heather Green, SR (pole vault)
Katrine Haarklau, JR (pole vault)
Kearsten Peoples, JR (shot put)
Shinelle Proctor, SR (high jump)
Jill Rushin, JR (shot put)
Hailey Twietmeyer, SR (javelin)
Morgan Whitson, JR (high jump)
Macauley Garton, JR (javelin)
Jonathan Ilori, JR (triple jump)
The ten qualifiers started their journey in Fayetteville, Ark., two weeks ago at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Each finished within the top 12 in their respective events to earn their spot in this week's final round, where they will meet the top 12 from the East Prelims.
Included in the eight qualifiers for the women, the largest ever for the team, is Mizzou's first female javelin thrower to make it to the NCAA Championships - senior Hailey Twietmeyer. Twietmeyer currently holds the Missouri School Record for the event at 51.17m (167-10), thrown earlier this season at home during the Missouri Relays. She placed eighth at the West Preliminary Round to punch her ticket to Eugene, and will vie for a spot on the podium Saturday evening, 5:15 p.m. PT.
The lone freshman will be next up on the track for the Tigers, as Kaitlyn Fischer looks to close her stellar debut year on Thursday with the 10,000-meter run. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) Freshman of the Year during cross country, and an SEC All-Freshman Team finisher this season, enters the competition with the No. 3 All-Time mark in Mizzou history at 34:08.50.
Events will continue into Friday for the women with the return of junior All-American Katrine Haarklau to the Hayward Field runway in the women's pole vault. Haarklau closed the 2013 season with a fifth-place performance in the event, marking in with a new Missouri School Record height of 4.35m (14-3.5).
Joining Haarklau on the runway is senior Heather Green, who qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time with her personal record (PR) bar of 4.04m (13-3) at the West Preliminary Round. With that mark, she now moves up to No. 3 on the All-Time Top Ten list for the event.
Saturday will round out the week's competition, starting with the women's high jump featuring junior Morgan Whitson and senior Shinelle Proctor. Both jumped around their PR marks at the West Preliminary Round to earn spots at the Finals, with Proctor tying her best at 1.77m (5-9.75) and Whitson coming in just below hers at 1.77m (5-9.75).
The Tigers will close out the week in a big way, as the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked shot putters, juniors Kearsten Peoples and Jill Rushin, take to the ring Saturday afternoon. The pair has had quite the exciting storyline this year, starting with Peoples' NCAA-leading shot put performance of the indoor season (17.81m / 58-5.25) to take home her second SEC title. Rushin finished just behind on the podium as runner-up before the duo closed the indoor season with two All-American performances for the indoor shot put, and a third from Peoples' for the weight throw.
They are now looking to close the outdoor season in a similar fashion, except with Rushin standing atop the SEC podium for the shot put after she earned her first SEC title a month ago, and Peoples finishing as runner-up. Rushin went on to earn her fifth All-SEC finish in the discus.
Peoples enters the week ranked No. 1 after her season's best toss of 17.90m (58-8.75), with Rushin not far behind at No. 2 with her PR, 17.62m (57-9.75).
The pair of qualifiers from the men's team will also help close out the week for the Tigers, as juniors Jonathan Ilori and Macauley Garton will join the four women for their events on Saturday. First up is Ilori, who hit a new PR in the triple jump at the West Preliminary Round with a top mark of 15.89m (52-1.75), good to maintain No. 4 in the Mizzou Record Book.
Garton, who sits at No. 3 in Mizzou history (71.02m/233-0), will follow in the men's javelin.
For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
Events will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and ESPNU.
Wednesday (ESPN3): 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. PT
Thursday (ESPN3): 3:55 p.m. - 8 p.m. PT
Friday (ESPNU): 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. PT
Saturday (ESPNU): 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. PT
WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE (all times are in PT)
5:15 p.m. - Women's Javelin (Hailey Twietmeyer)
THURSDAY SCHEDULE (all times are in PT)
7:15 p.m. - Women's 10,000m Run (Kaitlyn Fischer)
FRIDAY SCHEDULE (all times are in PT)
3:15 p.m. - Women's Pole Vault (Heather Green | Katrine Haarklau)
SATURDAY SCHEDULE (all times are in PT)
12:30 p.m. - Men's Triple Jump (Jonathan Ilori)
12:35 p.m. - Men's Javelin (Macauley Garton)
12:45 p.m. - Women's High Jump (Shinelle Proctor | Morgan Whitson)
1:00 p.m. - Women's Shot Put (Kearsten Peoples | Jill Rushin)
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