COLUMBIA — “As the years have progressed, we’ve found that literally we have five and six-year-olds and we have 85 and 86-year-olds,” Coach Rick McGuire said of the 24th Missouri All-Comers track meet. “There are some people here who are highly competitive, and there are some people here who just love the chance to get out and be a part of track.”
The meet drew 519 competitors in four divisions. McGuire says that while many out-of-state athletes participate, most are from Missouri. About half of the Missouri track team competed.
“I’ve got about 90 kids on the team, and in every case we’re doing what is the right thing,” McGuire said. “Some kids are tuning up for next week, the Big 12 meet. Some kids are resting, so they’re not competing this week. Some of our kids are competing hard to try and show why they should get to go to the Big 12 meet, so for some kids this is a really big meet.”
However, the meet didn’t just benefit athletes. Former team co-captain Kate Greer and current co-captain Chris Rohr organized a teddy bear drive for the Ronald McDonald House. By the end of the meet, Greer said that they had collected about 300 stuffed animals.
“I think it’s neat that we can get everybody involved in the same cause,” Greer said. “We didn’t give them (the participants) tons of warning, but there’s been a good response.”