May. 1, 2000
The University of Missouri men's and women's track and field teams enjoyed one of its most successful weekends at the 91st running of the Drake Relays over the weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. Mizzou claimed two relay titles along with ten top-8 performances.
The outstanding weekend commenced with head coach Rick McGuire being inducted into the Drake Relays Coaches Hall of Fame on Thursday evening. McGuire became the fourth coach and seventh Tiger to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
On Friday, one of the most exciting races of the weekend took place on the track. The men's 4x800m relay team comprised of Blair Hansard, Phil Councilor, Timothy Dunne and Derrick Peterson won the event in spectacular fashion. MU's time of 7:16.23 was not only the fastest time in school history, it is also the fastest time in the country. All four men posted splits under the 1:50 barrier with Peterson coming from behind to cross the finish line ahead of Stanford. The race featured the second, third and fourth fastest times in the 91-year history of the event. The school record Mizzou broke was set back in 1964 also at the Drake Relays.
After watching the men dominat in the 4x800m relay, the women decided they could do just as well. Kerry Hils, Sunny Gilbert, Jennifer Leerssen and Ashley Wysong teamed up to claim the women's title. Their time of 8:34.76 is the fastest time in the country as well as a new MU record. MU led for much of the race before All-American Ashley Wysong got the baton and put the Tigers out of reach.
The other relays to turn in top-4 performances were the men's and women's distance medley relays. The men's team of Peterson, Hansard, Councilor and Joel McCune placed fourth with a time of 9:46.42 while the women's squad of Wysong, Ada Ibe, Gilbert and Katie Meyer finished third in 11:18.65.
Individually, MU also fared well. Junior Katie Meyer placed seventh in the 1500m run while fellow junior Eli Sommerfeldt finished eighth in the javelin throw. For the men, sophomore Timothy Dunne placed fifth in the university division of the 800m run while junior Phil Councilor finished sixth in the invitational 800m run. Freshman Christian Cantwell turned in a seventh place performance while senior Jay Meystedt jumped to an eighth place performance in the high jump.
Mizzou will stay at home this weekend as they host the Missouri Invitational on Saturday, May 6 at Walton Stadium. MU will take to the road again the following weekend to competed at Emporia State before hosting the Big 12 Championships May 19-21.