Moran earns heptathlon crown

Former Missouri star clinches victory with personal best in 800.
Sunday, May 16, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:40 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Michelle Moran picked a great time to have one of the best days of her athletic career.

Moran, a former Missouri heptathlete, won the heptathlon at the Audrey Walton Combined Event Carnival on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium with 5,698 points.

The score easily passed the Olympic B standard of 5,475, earning her a trip to the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 9-12 in Sacramento, Calif. Moran missed the Olympic A standard by 52 points.

Athletes who reach the A standard automatically qualify for the trials, but ones who reach the B mark have to be in the top 18 nationally to earn a berth. Moran set personal bests in the long jump, 800 and total points. She broke the Walton Stadium record of 5,590, which she set at the 2000 Big 12 Conference Championships.

Moran’s winning long jump of 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches, set the tone for her day.

“I knew it felt great, I just had to land it,” Moran said. “I landed it and I turned around and thought, ‘That was it, that is what it’s supposed to feel like.’”

Olympians Austra Skujyte and Sheila Burrell scratched in the long jump, leaving the door open for Moran to take the lead.

Moran took advantage with a third-place javelin throw of 119-3 to move her into second with one event left. Her winning time of 2:15.31 in the 800 secured the victory.

Moran said she set herself up for Friday’s success with a personal best in the 200 on Thursday.

“It was encouraging because it kind of showed me that I had my legs underneath me,” she said. “I knew that I had some speed underneath me, and I knew that would definitely help me in the long jump.”

Former Tiger Fiona Asigbee finished second in the heptathlon with 5,572 points, 18 short of her personal best. Asigbee’s score met the Olympic B standard, but she will have to wait to see whether it will be good enough to qualify her the trials.

“I’m kind of on the bubble right now,” she said. “I have to wait and see what other people do.”

Knut Sommerfeldt, a former Missouri decathlete, finished third in the decathlon with 7,504 points. Sommerfeldt moved into second place with one event left after his winning javelin throw of 210-5, his best this season. He finished 10th in the 1,500 (4:48.60) and dropped to third.

Missouri freshman Bjorn Sommerfeldt finished 11th in the decathlon with 6,784 points. The 110-meter hurdles was his best event Friday. He earned 761 points with a 15.75, for 11th.David Lemen, formerly of the University of Georgia, won the decathlon and set a Walton Stadium record with 7,670 points. Kip Janvrin, a 2000 Olympian and a coach at Central Missouri State University, finished second with 7,561.

Clemson’s Rick Hill was the highest scoring collegian in the decathlon with 7,295 points for fourth. Nebraska’s Ashley Selig was the highest finishing collegian in the heptathlon. She also finished fourth with 5,313 points.

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