ST. JOSEPH — Mitchell Scarbrough was tired. The rest of his team was celebrating after winning a state championship, and Scarbrough was joining it, but he was a step behind the rest of the team.
A mixture of sweat and rain was causing his eye black to run down his face, bruises on his arms were starting to show and he was walking with a slight limp. He wasn’t complaining. When you’re the team’s starting quarterback, safety, punter and leading rusher, you have an excuse to be tired.
Amanda Bales led the way to Missouri’s best cross country finish since 1984.
Bales earned All-American honors by finishing 23rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Waterloo, Iowa, on Monday. The Tigers finished 12th for their best finish since 1984, when they were seventh.
Maybe Missouri went temporarily crazy, or maybe it realized that losing to red-hot Kansas State wasn’t that bad. Either way, as the Tigers prepared to leave KSU Stadium after losing 24-14 on Saturday, they had a different demeanor than after their other losses.
Players weren’t embarrassed as they were at Kansas, or in disbelief as they were at Colorado. There was no near-immediate acceptance, as there was after Oklahoma.
Missouri wrestlers dominated the semifinal rounds of the Missouri Open on Sunday, but familiar competition stopped them in the finals.
About 400 wrestlers from more than 20 teams competed on 12 mats at the fourth annual tournament at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. Five Tigers wrestlers reached the finals, the most from any team. Only one gained a title, though, with two falling in their finals to wrestlers from Oklahoma State.
Just ask Missouri freshman Linas Kleiza. He will tell you that he is an emotional player who relies on passion on the court.
“Oh, I definitely am emotional,” he said. “That’s what gets me going out there.”
PEORIA, Ill. — Career games by Megan Roney and LaToya Bond made it a happy homecoming for Missouri coach Cindy Stein on Sunday.
Stein, a native of Peoria, Ill., earned her 150th career win with Missouri’s 77-51 season-opening victory against Bradley at Robertson Field House.
Even after winning the NCAA Midwest Regional women’s cross country meet, Missouri sophomore Amanda Bales said she isn’t depending on a victory in her next race.
“I don’t ever go into a race expecting to do well,” Bales said, “but I like to finish it knowing that I left everything out there on the course.”
MANHATTAN, Kan. -– When what usually works didn’t, Missouri seemed stunned.
The Tigers came into the game with the No. 6 running offense in the nation, but finished with 109 rushing yards. Combined with a sporadic passing game, Missouri had trouble accomplishing anything on offense in its 24-14 loss to Kansas State on Saturday at KSU Stadium.
MANHATTAN, Kan. –- One thing stood between Missouri and the Big 12 Conference championship game.
A better team.
Scottie Guthrie guaranteed a state championship. The bad news for Guthrie and the Hickman Kewpies was he promised a state title for the Kewpies next year.
The Blue Springs Wildcats defeated Hickman 17-7 in a Class 6 state semifinal Saturday. The No. 1 Wildcats (12-0) advance to play Hazelwood Central in the final at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Friday.
When Columbia College’s Jaime Diestelkamp tore her right anterior cruciate ligament in practice Nov. 14, there was concern that she might not be able to play again this season. It seemed unlikely that she would serve the Cougars to the NAIA National Tournament.
Saturday afternoon at Southwell Arena in the Region V Tournament championship, Diestelkamp did just that. Wearing a brace on her leg and limited to serving duties for the third match in a row, she polished off Columbia College’s nerve-racking 30-19, 30-20, 34-36, 30-24 win against Central Methodist, serving the final six points to put the Eagles away.
MANHATTAN, Kan. — If Zack Abron had consistently gotten the opportunities he had in the second half, he would have become Missouri’s rushing king and MU might have been the king of the Big 12 Conference North Division.
Instead, Abron and the Tigers fell short of a win and a record.
MANHATTAN, Kan. –- Darren Sproles might be as purple as his fans after all those yards.
Sproles, Kansas State’s junior running back, had 273 yards rushing against Missouri to set a game school record. Mike Lawrence held the record with 252 yards.
Cindy Stein is taking her team and going home.
Stein, the Missouri women’s basketball coach, returns to her hometown of Peoria, Ill., today to take on Bradley, where she spent five years as an assistant coach.
In a close game, sometimes the quarterback is the player who has to make the plays.
Blue Springs beat Hickman 17-7 on Saturday at Hickman to advance to the Class 6 state finals. Blue Springs will play Hazelwood Central on Friday in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
FLORISSANT — Oklahoma State has a tradition of winning, but Missouri’s wrestling team made history Friday night.
The Tigers defeated the Cowboys 21-17 in front of 1,721 fans at Hazelwood Central High. The Tigers won for the first time in 29 tries against the Cowboys (2-1), snapping OSU’s 24-match winning streak.
There is a sense of urgency in the Missouri wrestling room.
In his sixth year, Brian Smith is hoping to coach the Tigers to their first national championship. Six upperclassmen are ranked in the top 15 in their weight class.
Four of them are seniors beginning their final chance.
It is half an hour after volleyball practice and Columbia College’s Southwell Arena is quiet. It will be a different building in 24 hours when fans crowd in to watch the Cougars open the NAIA Region V Tournament.
For now, though, all of the blue plastic seats that surround the court are folded back. There is no music blaring from the speaker system. It is quiet.
For the past two seasons, Kansas State has been the playground bully that took Missouri’s lunch money, its lunch and just about everything else. The Tigers were on the brink of bowl eligibility each of the past two seasons when the Wildcats came calling and snatched away Missouri’s bowl hopes, including a 38-0 thumping in Columbia to end the Tigers’ 2002 season.
This time, more is at stake. Both teams have locked up bowl berths and are playing for a spot in the Big 12 Conference championship game.
The Mid-Missouri Mavericks are the newest chapter in Jack Clark’s baseball odyssey.
The organization introduced Clark as its manager in a press conference Thursday.