Thirteen Missourians will compete today and tomorrow in search of National Titles and All-American honors in Idaho at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Former Hardin Central track team manager and University of Missouri Track & Field Sports Information Director Tom Lewis is the Communications Director for the United States Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches Association. He does a phenomenal job and has all of the info you need for every collegiate indoor national meet right here:
Florida State senior and Raytown South graduate Maurice Mitchell looks for a first indoor national title in the 60 and 200 meters.
Arizona State third-year sophomore Nick Happe of Francis Howell North has shown his more than just a long distance guy. Happe joined the very small, elite list of Missouri sub 4-minute milers last week with his performance on the 300 meter track at Washington. The fleet footed Happe is looking for his first All-American honors at his first NCAA track national meet.
Berkeley sprint superstar Alishea Usery got off to a strong college career qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Meet as a freshman in both the 60 and 200. Injuries have plagued her too often sadly since, but she’ll look to add another All-American honor to her collection of multiple AA’s in the 4×400.
Usery’s Berkeley teammate and 400-800 star Kianna Ruff is 3 for 3 in qualifying for NCAA Meets. She’s making her third straight 4×400 appearance and will look to collect her second straight All-American finish for Tennessee.
Pembroke Hill State Champ Tiffani McReynolds made some national noise at AAU Nationals the summer before her senior year. Baylor landed the prized recruit and McReynolds had a quick impact. In her first NCAA Meet the freshman earned a silver medal in the 60 meter hurdles at the 2011 Indoor Meet. She’ll look for her second NCAA trophy at this year’s meet.
Breanna Bussel was one of many superstars for the power-house Jefferson City High School Lady Jays track team that had a dominant decade in the 2000’s. The fifth-year senior makes her first NCAA Nationals appearance in the pole vault joining former Jay teammates Leandra McGruder, Vera Neuenswander, and Leslie Farmer, as NCAA Division I Nationals qualifiers. Bussel qualified after winning the Big 10 title clearing 13-10.5.
Arkansas fifth-year senior and Branson graduate Tara Diebold looks for another All-American honor and her best national finish. Diebold is tied for 3rd seed in the pole vault. She’s struggled with injury, but when she’s been healthy she’s been great. Her season best and pr is 14-4.
U.S. girls high school track 5k record holder Emily Sisson had an amazing freshman year at Wisconsin despite missing much of it with injury. After transferring to Providence, Sisson blazed to a 9:06.04 in the 3,000 in her first indoor season. Sisson is seeded 7th in the
Ricky West looks to add his own history to the Mizzou 800 tradition. The Canada native is seeded 7th in the event with a time of 1:47.81.
Olivia Lewis and Paris Daniels have wasted little time since beginning their Division I careers after starting at the junior college level. Lewis, the Gateway graduate and Daniels, the Normandy graduate brings the total of St. Louis area women competing in the 4×400 to four. Lewis will run on the Texas Tech team seeded 10th. Daniels will run on the top seeded Kansas squad and in the 200 where she’s seeded 11th. Kansas’s top seeded time: 3:31.36.
Two other transfers round out the Missouri contingent. Malcom Pennix came to the University of Missouri after a long jump national title at Kansas City Community College. The junior is seeded in a tie for 7th with a mark of 25-4.75.
Erin Atkinson spent her first year at Southern Illinois, but now at the Baylor the thrower has success quickly. Atkinson set the school record in the weight throw and qualified for her first NCAA Meet. The former Ladue standout is seeded 13th with a mark of 68-4.5.