Kaela Rorvig had just lost the lead in the women’s heptathlon after a mediocre throw in the javelin.
She had to beat Nebraska’s Kim Shubert in the 800-meter run. Rorvig came in second, holding off Shubert for the last 100 meters. She won the heptathlon by 46 points.
Rorvig’s 4,815 points was only 10 points off her personal record set at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships last year. Missouri coach Rick McGuire saw her score as a prophecy of Missouri’s next 5,000-point scorer in the heptathlon.
“Her score in these weather conditions is a sign that she might be the next one,” McGuire said.
Missouri has had nine heptathletes score 5,000 points and trails only Nebraska (who has 10) for the most in the conference. However, Missouri hasn’t had a woman score 5,000 since 2004. Rorvig also mentioned the lack of heptathletes last year.
“It was just me and Liz (Peterson) the year before,” she said.
This year the team has four new participants in the heptathlon including freshman Lindsey Boldt, who was a surprise fourth-place finisher Friday in the Audrey Walton Combined Events.
“I was really happy to see her do well,” Rorvig said of Boldt. “I was really happy to see all of them do well.”
Rorvig knows of the transition that heptathletes coming from high school face. She specialized in three events in high school and had to learn five events to participate in the heptathlon. Rorvig said that she worried about how she would perform in the hurdles.
“I was kind of skeptical at first,” she said. “Do I really have to learn those? But that was the situation we worked on freshman year.”
Rorvig competed in the 400-meter run, long jump and triple jump at Hickman High School.
“When Kaela started here two years ago, she was a 400 runner who could long jump,” McGuire said. “She had to learn how to hurdle and throw the javelin and high jump, that takes time.”
McGuire thought that this was going to be Rorvig’s breakout year but was worried after she suffered a hamstring injury before the start of indoor season.
“She had to train eight weeks (after the injury), so that makes this really special.”
Rorvig was a two-time state champion in the 400 at Hickman and was a nine-time all-state performer. She was also an all-state basketball player and helped lead Hickman to two state runner-up titles.
“She’s one that if you kept challenging her, she would step up to that challenge, whether we were doing our summer conditioning or she was running the top of our press,” Rorvig’s former basketball coach Tonya Mirts said.
Mirts also praised her athletic ability.
“She’s just an unbelievable athlete,” she said. “She benched more than her body weight.”
McGuire said he was most impressed when he saw Rorvig in a basketball game.
“I watched her play a basketball game, and I said, wow, that’s a heptathlete.” he said.
In the decathlon, former Missouri star Hans Uldal won his third straight Audrey Walton Combined Events title. His former teammate from Norway, Bjorn Sommerfeldt, took second. At the closing ceremony, Uldal proposed to his long-time girlfriend.
During the Tom Botts invitational on Friday and Saturday at Walton Stadium, Jason Morris won the hammer throw with a throw of 64.86 meters.
Hedrig Glomroed jumped 12.52 meters to win the triple jump. Greg Bracey won the 100-meter dash in 10.66 minutes. Trisa Nickoley won the 800-meter race in 2:10.22. Krishna Lee won the women’s shot put with a throw of 15.14 meters. Nate Englin won the shot put with a throw of 17.67 meters. Bill Hobson also threw 16.84 meters to qualify for the NCAA regionals in the shot put.