Olympic talent graces Cougars

There are not many volleyball teams that feature four Olympians and leaves its coach thinking it might be underrated.

The Columbia College volleyball team, which starts the season ranked No. 6 in the NAIA, has three members of Kenya’s 2000 Olympic volleyball team and one member of its 2004 Olympic team playing for it.

Impressive catches drawing attention

Following a shortened practice on Sunday, as many players headed to ice down or shower, quarterback Brad Smith stayed behind to work with a pair of Missouri receivers.

Not Sean Coffey and Thomson Omboga, or Brad Ekwerekwu and Jason Ray, but Tommy Saunders and Andrew Hoskins.

MU volleyball team loosens up in scrimmage

A preseason scrimmage is for smoothing out wrinkles. So it’s a good thing the Missouri volleyball team brought plenty of wrinkles to Wednesday night’s Black and Gold scrimmage at Hearnes Center.

The gold Tigers beat the black Tigers in a shortened match at the annual scrimmage 2-1 (14-20, 20-15, 20-18), but not before the two sides played through many missed spikes, wildly tipped balls and serves into the net.

Tigers track star will miss finals for 800 meters

Former Missouri runner Derrick Peterson failed to qualify for the semifinals in the 800-meter run Wednesday in Athens, finishing fourth in his heat.

Peterson, a volunteer MU track and field assistant, completed the race in 1 minute, 47.60 seconds. He placed 42nd in a field of 72.

Peterson primed for Olympic debut in 800

Four years ago, Derrick Peterson, a former Missouri runner, almost walked away from track.

Disappointed in his performance in the 800 meters at the 2000 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif., Peterson said he didn’t want to continue training, the 2004 Olympics seemed too far away. Peterson finished fifth in his semifinal run at the trials in 2000, missing a chance to advance to the finals and a possible Olympic berth by one-hundredth of a second. He came back to finish third at July’s Olympic Trials, earning an Olympic berth. Peterson competes in the opening round of the 800 today.

Jackson needs no nickname

Jimmy Jackson’s name may be simple and unexciting, but his game is something special.

While he may not have the flashy nicknames of fellow freshmen “Touchdown” Tony Temple or William “Helicopter” Franklin, Jackson, a 5-foot-9, 190 pound running back from Caruthersville, is turning heads with his impressive play in recent practices.

Bauder’s shot helps Grizzlies top Mavs

The Gateway Grizzlies completed a three-game sweep of the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Tuesday in Sauget, Ill.

Brad Bauder hit a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning that gave Gateway the lead in a 5-3 win. The Mavericks managed a run in the ninth inning but couldn’t come back.

MU’s Uldal finishes at 27th

Missouri sophomore Hans Uldal moved up in the standings on the final day of the decathlon in the 2004 Athens Olympics, finishing 27th out of 39 competitors.

Uldal, who was representing Norway, had been 30th after the first day of the decathlon, which combines an athlete’s scores from 10 different events to determine a winner. Uldal finished with 7,495 points. Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic won the event with an Olympic-record score of 8,893. American Bryan Clay took the silver with 8,820 points. Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan won the bronze with 8,725 points.

Freshmen use one another to quell fears

When some out-of-state freshmen enter college, they often worry about not knowing anyone or having friends at their new home.

When Mack Breed and Aaron Saunders arrived at Missouri, they didn’t have that fear. They entered with each other.

Watkins’ son joins MU basketball

Marcus Watkins, son of Melvin Watkins, Missouri’s new associate head basketball coach, joined the team Monday and is eligible to play the 2004-05 season.

Coach Quin Snyder said in a release that Watkins, a junior, will fit in well with the team. According to Snyder, the 6-foot-4 guard from Texas A&M is a well-rounded player as well as a quality student.

St. Louis loses big in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY — The NFL’s highest-scoring offense is averaging two touchdowns every three possessions during the preseason.

If Kansas City’s woeful defense can get its act together, too, the Chiefs could be in for big things.

MU’s Uldal eyeing personal record

Norwegian decathlete Hans Uldal, a sophomore member of the Missouri track team, is in 30th place out of 39 athletes competing in the decathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Uldal, who hails from Arendal, Norway, had 3,762 points after the first five events Monday and is on pace to set a school record, less than 100 points away from his personal best.

Rotations helping Franklin

The “Helicopter” has set down on the Missouri football team.

Freshman wide receiver William “Helicopter” Franklin, ranked the No. 8 prospect in Missouri by after his senior season at Vashon High in St. Louis, is a member of a large crop of receivers competing for playing time this season.

Tigers look ahead

Coach Susan Kreklow hardly noticed when Missouri was ranked fifth in the 2004 Big 12 preseason poll

“We just take a look at the preseason rankings and move forward,” Kreklow said. “It’s not something we spend a lot of time on. It’s not something we worry about.”

Patterson shuts down Mavericks

Scott Patterson struck out 13 in eight innings to lead the Gateway Grizzlies to an 8-5 victory against the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Sunday night in Sanget, Ill.

Todd Oetting had three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth, and scored twice for Gateway (52-36), and Ryan Sullivan went 3-for-4, driving in three runs.

Gatlin surprises 100-meter field for speedy gold

ATHENS, Greece — All weekend Justin Gatlin fell under the shadow of a flamboyant training partner and an illustrious teammate. So he sped past both of them, outrunning the fastest Olympic field ever to snatch the 100-meter gold medal.

Gatlin ran the race of his life Sunday to become the youngest champion in 36 years, barely holding off Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu and defending gold medalist Maurice Greene to win in 9.85 seconds.

Kewps’ Tekotte turning heads at QB

Before the beginning of last season, Hickman coach Gregg Nesbitt said he knew he had an outstanding athlete at quarterback. He knew Blake Tekotte was going to be good, he didn’t know when.

A District 6 title and more than 2,000 all purpose yards later, Hickman fans are starting to get a picture of how good Tekotte can be.

Missouri starts play with a bang

The fireworks over Walton Stadium weren’t the only thing that started with a bang Friday night.

Under the display, meant for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ fans next-door, the Missouri women’s soccer team opened the season with a win, routing Southwest Missouri State 7-2 in exhibition play.

Making progress

Progress is the key word coach Gary Pinkel wants Missouri’s football team to adopt after a Saturday scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.

The second scrimmage this week featured solid passing by quarterbacks Brad Smith and freshman Chase Patton and overall good play by the defense, but coach Gary Pinkel said the team still has to improve before its first game two weeks from Saturday against Arkansas State.

Ducks’ late spree does in Mavericks

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks couldn’t take advantage.

Despite four errors by the Springfield-Ozark Ducks, the Mavericks lost 10-3 at Taylor Stadium on Saturday.