Missouri senior Janae Strickland is no stranger to success. It runs in the family.
Strickland’s mom, Lorinda Strickland, is former track star and Missouri record holder, setting the long jump record of 20 feet, 11 ½ inches in 1985 as Lorinda Richardson.
As Strickland prepares for the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas, today through Saturday, she hopes to reach a personal best in the shot put. She holds the school record of 55-6 ¼ and ranks 10th in the nation.
Strickland, who credits her mother for her decision to attend MU, enters the championships for the second year in a row.
“I’m feeling very good, my body is not hurting,” Strickland said.
With Strickland being an Olympic Trials qualifier, team co-captain, regional champion and school record holder, it doesn’t seem there is much more she could accomplish in her final season. Strickland, though, is focused and ready to do great things in one of her last meets.
“I want to have fun, and make finals, of course,” she said.
Before her event Thursday at 5 p.m., Strickland will seclude herself from everyone to focus on her technique and strategy.
“I listen to gospel music,” Strickland said. “It puts me in the mind-set.”Strickland altered her outlook on training this year to better focus on shot put and school, eliminating any distractions, such as partying, that might throw her off course.
“I wanted this year to be an awesome year, and go out with a bang,” Strickland said. “This season I continued to work out, work hard and listen to my coach. I really wanted to focus on school and my sport and see where it got me.”
It has gotten her to one of the most prestigious collegiate meets.
Strickland is one of nine Tigers heading to the meet.
Senior Holly Scherder, juniors Conrad Woolsey, Jenny Bybee and Amanda Bales earned bids to NCAA because of their top-five performances at the Mideast regional meet two weeks ago in Baton Rouge, La.
Scherder will compete in the hammer throw, Woolsey in the shot put, Bybee in the high jump and Bales in 5000 meters. Four sophomores also qualified for the meet. Ashley Patten earned an at-large bid in the 800 meters based on her best time of 2 minutes, 5.45 seconds March 27 at the Stanford Invitational
Serena Ramsey will compete in the 10,000 meters, Hans Uldal in the decathlon and Jessica Stockard in the heptathlon.