COLUMBIA — Ten Missouri track and field athletes advanced in the NCAA Outdoor Championships during three days of competition at the NCAA West Regional in Fayetteville, Ark.
"It’s exciting to see the hard work of the individuals paying off," Missouri track and field coach Brett Halter said Saturday in a phone interview. "To have it work for so many is just terrific. Anybody kind of stepping up isn’t surprising, but it’s good to see."
The top 12 competitors in each event qualify for the championships in Eugene, Ore., including junior Kearsten Peoples, one of the nation's best at the shot put. Peoples placed third with a throw of 17.03 meters.
Fellow junior Jill Rushin (16.56 meters) also qualified in the shot put.
Freshman Kaitlyn Fischer was the youngest qualifier for the Tigers with a sixth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run. Fischer ran a 34:12.44 in the event and was the only racing qualifier for Missouri.
Jonathan Ilori was the only other top-5 finisher other than Peoples. The junior placed fourth in the triple jump on the final day of competition with a jump of 15.89 meters.
The Tigers also advanced two women's pole vaulters and two more in the high jump. Missouri got a sixth-place tie for Katrine Haarklau (4.14 meters) and 10th-place finish for Heather Green (4.04 meters). Senior Shinelle Proctor and junior Morgan Whitson finished in a three-way tie for eighth with a 1.77-meter clearance in the high jump.
Two javelin throwers will also advance to Eugene. Junior McCauley Garton finished sixth among the men, and senior Hailey Twietmeyer placed eighth.
"To have this many in the championship is really exciting," Halter said.
The Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, featuring 24 competitors or teams in each event, will take place June 11-14.