Missouri field athletes break personal records

Friday, February 21, 2014 | 10:16 p.m. CST; updated 9:24 a.m. CST, Saturday, February 22, 2014
Several Missouri athletes broke records in the field events at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge on Friday.

COLUMBIA — Several Missouri athletes broke records in the field events at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge on Friday.

Missouri junior Jill Rushin broke the meet and facility records with her shot put of 16.90 meters. The toss moved Rushin from 10th to eighth in the nation going into next weekend, when the Tigers travel to College Station, Texas, for the Southeastern Conference Championship meet.

Rushin's teammates swarmed her as the distance of her throw was announced, but she remained calm.

“Going into SECs, it’s great to PR,” Rushin said in talking about her personal record. “I was thinking, ‘ooh, I really want 17.’”

Rushin fully expects to set a new personal record next weekend, too, and her coach is confident that she can.

“The sky’s the limit,” head coach Brett Halter said. “I don’t know what her high end is. I know she can throw quite a bit farther than she did today."

Kearsten Peoples' 17.51 meter throw last weekend at the Tyson Invitation is the only reason that Rushin remains second on the all-time list.

While Rushin and Peoples competed, Missouri coaches decided to hold multiple athletes out of the event in preparation for next weekend.

This environment, which had the feel of a warm-up, provided an opportunity for several young Missouri men to have their day in the weight-throwing cage.

Sophomore Nick Sublett won the men’s weight throw with his personal record of 17.23 meters. His previous personal record was 16.51 meters, but he hadn’t thrown farther than 15.56 meters this year until now.

“I knew as soon as I let go of it, it was going to be a PR,” Sublett said.

Freshman Ahren Bohanan took second in the same event with his personal record throw of 16.28 meters.

Like the Missouri Invitational two weeks ago, the women pole-vaulters cleared high marks at Hearnes Center.

The three Tiger competitors all cleared the 12-foot-8.25-inch mark, a personal record for freshman Alyssa Applebee.

“I knew I needed a breakthrough sometime,” Applebee said. “It’s really fun when we’re all in it together. It gives a nice look for our team.”

Applebee had yet to clear 12 feet in college and has been working through changes in her mechanics.

“It definitely boosts my confidence up from what it has been,” Applebee said. “I can do it still. I’m ready to go higher.”

The vault places Applebee fourth on Missouri’s all-time list.

Third on that list is junior Maggie Givens, who broke her personal record Friday as well. Her 13-foot-0.25-inch mark is  0.75 inches higher than her previous record, but those 0.75 inches mean something. Givens said that people had already been congratulating her on clearing 13 feet, and she had to correct them. 

“It’s like, ‘no, I jumped 12, 11½,” Givens said. “So it’s very fun to put an official 13 there.”

Givens struggled mightily with the next height up.

“I’m saving it for next week,” she joked.

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