Moran’s showing excites MU coach

Friday, May 14, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:41 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

It takes a lot to make a grown man run screaming through the rain, but Michelle Moran gave Rick McGuire a reason to do it Thursday.

Moran, a former Missouri heptathlete, set a personal best in the 200-meter dash on the first day of the Audrey Walton Combined Event Carnival at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

Moran took second in the 200 in 25.07 seconds. She is in fifth in the heptathlon with 3,314 points through four events. Her performance in the 200 sent McGuire, Missouri’s coach, running across the infield, yelling the whole way.

McGuire said the yelling began as a motivational move to help Moran and former Tiger Fiona Asigbee, but then became something more.“The initial part was to let me be the distraction instead of the weather,” McGuire said. “I wanted to show them, ‘Hey, you can!’ and from the start you could see that they were doing it. At first it was self-generated, but after that it was reaction.

“Who in the world would think Michelle Moran would have a personal record in the 200 at the end of a long, hard day in the pouring rain?”

Asigbee is fourth in the heptathlon after the first day with 3,344 points. She finished second in the 100-meter hurdles but said she could have done better overall.

“I guess it could’ve been a lot worse, but I’m a little disappointed with how I competed,” she said. “My hurdles, they were a little slow. I could just tell I hadn’t competed in a while. I was just not as crisp. I felt a little rusty in all my events.”

Asigbee said she thinks she can rebound.

“I think I was kind of unfocused today, so hopefully tomorrow I can come back a little more focused and take it from there.”

Knut Sommerfeldt, a former Missouri decathlete, is eighth in the decathlon with 3,746 points. Sommerfeldt took second in the long jump (23 feet, 4 ¾ inches) and in the shot put (46-2 ¾ ).

Sommerfeldt was in third place through four events, but dropped after finishing 17th in the 400-meter dash.

“Maybe I should have been a little tougher on myself in that last turn, to beat my brother at least,” he said.

Missouri freshman Bjorn Sommerfeldt, the only Tiger athlete in the meet, is 16th in the decathlon with 3,520 points. He was 15th in the 400.

Knut Sommerfeldt said he thinks he is in good position to make a move today.

“My second day is a lot better, compared to most decathletes,” he said. “I think I can move up if I just focus the same way I did today.”

Ryan Olkowski, a former Penn State athlete, leads the decathlon with 4,069 points. Clemson’s Rick Hill is the highest ranking collegian with 3,771 points.

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