Reviewin' & Previewin' - Men's and Women's Outdoor Track

We head back to the track, but this time the outdoor track to cover another good season for the Men's and Women's track program.  Some other all-sports updates are hanging around out there, and I will mention those as well.  Throw in some random thoughts, including some about the British Open hilarity from this past weekend, and we will call it a post.  Not many more wrap-ups left this summer, as women's soccer season will now kick off in less than a month if you can believe it.

Women's Golf:

Yes, we will start with some other sports mentions, and few teams have done as well in the off-season as women's golf.  The lady Tigers have placed THREE golfers into the US Women's Amateur Championships, as sophomores-to-be Lindsey Haupt and Madison Marcolla qualified out the Kansas City regional, and junior-to-be Julia Potter qualified out of Indiana, where she then went back and won the state amateur title.  These three ladies will begin play August 4th up in Eugene, OR, where they will compete in two days of stroke play to narrow the field to 64, where match play will begin.  Senior-to-be Chelsea Schreiwer may have had the most exciting finish of her post-season play, as she birdied the final hole to win the Missouri Women's Amateur Championship.  Lindsey Haupt came in 4th, assistant coach Mindy Bullard came in 7th for the Tigers.

Men's Golf:

The women's team was not the only squad with some members in action these past couple of weeks, as the men's team gained some mention as sophomore-to-be Will Hogan finished 3rd in the Missour Amateur Championship.  His 4-round total of 283 included a scorching 67.  Sophomore-to-be Chris Johnson also put up a nice effort, coming in 13th place

Wrestling:

Already mentioned by The Boy in the links this past week, but worth repeating because of the honor, but congratulations to Coach Brian Smith, who will serve the next two years as the President-elect of the NWCA, before taking over for a two year term as the President of the National Wrestling Coaching Association.  A wonderful nod to a person who has created a nationally recognized program out of almost nothing at all.

Men's Outdoor Track Wrap-Up:

Alright, time to get down to it with the team recaps, starting with the men's outdoor track and field squad.  Coming off of very solid 4th place indoor finish, the men out forth a very solid season, and while their top-flight competitors probably outnumbered those from the indoor season, the depth was not as strong as the indoor season.  The team would finish 8th in conference, but still send many to post-season meets, including a recent alum to the Olympics where he stands to be a favorite to at least medal in the shot put.

There were numerous bright spots for the squad this season, which did finish 1-0 on the year.  In the first year of what should become a very fun event and tradition, the Tigers travelled to the University of Virginia and took down the 1st Jefferson Cup title.  Of all the bright spots, I believe junior-to-be Nick Adcock was the brightest in the decathlon.  He was never more impressive than at the Big XII Championships, setting SIX personal bests (of 10 events of course) to finish with a personal best  (by almost 350 points) total of over 7,600 points, which was good enough for 2nd place by just 18 points.  He would go on to become an All-American in the event, finishing 4th, along with sophomore-to-be Lars Rise, who would have a wonderful meet to finish 7th.  The future is ridiculously bright in this event for the Tigers.

On to the throwers, who will graduate a number of All-Americans, but still return a few for next season.  Chris Rohr will be a senior and Andy Oaker a junior, and each had some good results.  Oaker was All Big XII in the shot put (which Englin won in both indoor and outdoor), and Rohr with some great finishes in the discus and a record breaking toss in the hammer throw.  Rohr would get all the way to the Olympic qualifying before his season would end, and he should clearly be a team and conference leader next season.  Graduation will hit this part of the squad hard though, as Nate Englin, Tyler Dailey, Jason Morris and others will all call it a career, leaving the future to names like Patrick Fitzgerald, Tim Opfer, and Asa Wyatt.

The rest of the squad did have some nice efforts in other events.  Junior-to-be Brian Hancock placed as an All-American in the pole vault and senior to be John Thies just missed All-Conference honors in the javelin.  It would appear that next season could be an interesting one of transition.  Returning will be two of the top decathletes in the nation along with a couple of top throwers.  The team will need to generate some depth and some talent at a number of positions however,  but considering the tenure and success of Coach McGuire, there really is little reason to believe this wont happen at some level next year. 

Women's Outdoor Track:

I have to say I am a little happy this is the last sport I have to review where it is really tough to quantify the success of the program's year just because of the nature of the sport.  As I started thinking about it, I will probably put together my final season rankings just before the new season gets going, trying to rank all Mizzou teams from top to bottom.  To give away a little bit of that, I would likely put Women's Outdoor Track in the lower half of Mizzou sports, if not even closer to the bottom.  So good performances by the team, but not a ton in terms of depth of performances, resulting in a bit of a down year for the program.

The team had some nice accomplishments throughout the season, including a ridiculously close loss in their version of the Jefferson Cup against Virginia, losing by just four points.  The new head to head style is actually old-school, and would appear to be something which will become more and more prevalent in the seasons to come as Mizzou will evidently renew competition against kansas down the road.  Graduating before the competition will renew will be senior thrower Shermelle Nichols who impressed in her time in the shot put and discus.  Trisa Nicholey had a great run which was completed in style in Oregon.

In the end, the team placed just as many athletes to the Olympic team (2) as the men did (Morris and Rohr in the hammer) in senior-to-be thrower Krishna Lee and graduating senior Trisa Nickoley in the 800 meters.  For Lee, a great season ended with her participating out in Oregon in the shot put.  Lee placed 3rd in the shot put at the Big XII's (with seniors Nichols and Elisha Hunt, who will be able to return for one more outdoor season if she chooses).  Another returner for next season will be Janay Woolridge, who placed 4th in conference in the long jump.  The 4x400 relay team which placed as all-conference will return three of the four runners next season in juniors-to-be Keyonna Smith and Lana Mims and sophomore-to-be Layne Moore.

The women finished 10th on the season for the outdoor circuit.  With some All Big XII competitors returning next season, the squad will need the maturation of the current young team members along with hopefully the addition of some new talent to improve upon their showing for the season.

Random Thoughts:

  • It was a real pleasure to watch the (too long) Home Run Derby...on mute as not to hear Chris Berman.
  • Wow, what a finish by Harrington yesterday in the British Open. And I still cannot get over the -5 that Villegas put up this week in one round, that no one came within 3 shots of to my knowledge.
  • I appreciate that summer weather did not really hit the mid-west until the middle/end of July, but it does make me wonder/worry if it will extend itself into September.
  • Saw the new Batman movie this past weekend.  I wasn't so certain I could believe the hype about the performance of Heath Ledger, but it is as good as advertised, if not even better.  Though (and without giving away too much of the movie) it will be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here.
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