Missourians are all over the place on the entry list for the 2013 USA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships being held at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa this week. On the line for the Open/Senior athletes are spots on Team USA for the 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Moscow, Russia, August 10-18. The top three finishers in each event in Des Moines who have achieved the World Championships qualifying standards will make the team. Also spots are up for grabs for heptathletes and decathletes on the Thorpe Cup team, an annual multi-event competition between the USA and Germany, being held in California this year. For Junior athletes, spots on the Pan-American Games team will go to the top two finishers in each event. The Pan-Am Games will be held in Colombia in August.
Several of the best ever Missouri track and field athletes will look to make another Team USA squad and add to their World Championships experience. Five Missourians competed in the 2012 London Olympics USA Roster and four of those athletes will compete this weekend.
After so much success in the 5k, Matt Tegenkamp moved up to the 10k in 2011. Tegenkamp will try to make his third straight World Champs/Olympic Team in the 10k. Tegenkamp returned to Missouri in February for his first race back in his home state since leading Lee’s Summit High School to the Class 4 Boys State Track and Field title in 2000. Tegenkamp ran the USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis’ Forest Park in February where he finished 3rd in the 12k race.
The other veteran and long-time professional athlete from Missouri who competed in London is Christian Cantwell. After a silver medal in Beijing, Cantwell just missed a bronze medal in the shot put by a few inches last summer in his second Olympic Games. Cantwell had off-season elbow surgery though and his long run of consecutive World Championships and Olympic Games teams is coming to an end. Cantwell competed early in the outdoor season but after scratching from several other meets said last month that this year would be a wash and hopes to be back to full-strength next year. Cantwell scratched from the USA Championships.
Three young Missourians surprised many by earning spots on the 2012 Olympic team. After two straight NCAA Division I Outdoor titles in 2011 and 2012, both Brittany Borman and Maurice Mitchell had great Olympic Trials and earned trips to London. Borman captured the ’11 and ’12 Javelin titles for Oklahoma and had a dramatic finish at the trials to secure the Olympic Berth. Borman, needing a personal best of more than eleven feet on her final throw at the trials, nailed her last chance to not only meet the Olympics qualifying standard but also jump to first place and win the competition in Eugene last June. Borman went on to place 15th in London, missing the finals by several feet.
After capturing the ’11 and ’12 200 NCAA crowns in the 200 meters for Florida State, Mitchell ran to a runner-up finish at the trials and finished 14th in London, missing the finals by 2/10ths of a second. Mitchell will be looking to make his third straight Team USA member at the World best outdoor competition after running the preliminaries in the 4×100 at the 2011 World Championships.
After a stellar career at Nebraska, Rolla native Chantae McMillan had a great first post-collegiate season in 2012. McMillan held on to third place at the Olympic Trials for her second straight USA Outdoors Heptathlon medal. Despite a top three finish in 2011, McMillan didn’t meet the World Championships qualifying standard and had to settle for a Thorpe Team spot instead of a trip to South Korea. McMillan finished 29th in the 39 woman field in London.
McMillan will be joined in the Heptathlon by first year post-collegian Lindsay Lettow. The Urbandale, Iowa native, Des Moines Christian High School graduate and former University of Central Missouri superstar multi-eventer captured the bronze medal at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships in the Pentathlon and made the Thorpe Cup Team after a top 10 finish at the Olympic Trials in 2012.
Michael Rodgers the St. Louis native and former NAIA National Champion for Lindenwood and Oklahoma Baptist is looking for Team USA spot on World Championships medal. The last two years have been anything but ideal for the 100 meter sprint star who has a personal best of 9.86 seconds. After making the World Championships team in 2011, Rodgers gave up his spot after testing positive for a stimulant during a training camp in Italy. Rodgers said he unintentionally ingested the stimulant after consuming an energy drink at the camp in Italy. Rodgers wasn’t every officially suspended but was reinstated after basically missing several months of competition. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, Rodgers placed 4th in the 100, to just miss a spot in the open 100. He did qualify for the 4×100 relay pool, but just before the Olympics was taken off the team because of a stress fracture in his foot. So Rodgers is looking to make another USA Team and finally get his chance to breakout on the World Outdoor track and field stage.
Besides Maurice Mitchell and Michael Rodgers, two other Missouri natives and another Missouri collegian have qualified in the men’s sprints. Terrel Cotton, a former state champion for Warrensburg and a NCAA Division II champion for Lincoln University, will compete in the 200 meters. Cotton, who ran with Maurice Mitchell on an All-American high school track club team years ago, advanced with Mitchell to the 2012 Olympic Trials semifinals in the 200 meters. Cotton is in his first post-collegiate season. Fred Taylor is a former multiple-time state champion for Class 2 Maplewood Richmond Heights high school. After an All-American career at Cowley County Community College, Taylor earned NCAA Division II All-American honors with Grand Canyon University this year. Taylor qualified and will run the 100 and came up just short of qualifying for the 200.
Mizzou freshman Markesh Woodson exploded on to the scene and had a historic season for the Tigers and Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson. Woodson captured the SEC Indoor 60m title and finished 5th at the Division I Indoor Championships. That marked the first sprint All-American finish for a Mizzou male in nearly 30 years. Woodson followed up with a 3rd place finish in the 100 meters at the SEC Outdoor Meet in Columbia, earning a personal best of 10.18. Woodson placed 10th at the NCAA Meet, just missing the finals.
One of the best American 100-200 meter sprinters of the last decade is back in her first USA Meet in four years. Muna Lee, the Kansas City native and former champion for Kansas City Central High School and LSU, was injured in a fall in the 4×100 at the 2009 World Championships. Lee was out with injury for a long time and has slowly been making her way back to form. Lee, a 2004 and 2008 Olympian, will run the 100.
Paris Daniels capped her collegiate career with two more NCAA trophies in Eugene two weeks ago. The St. Louis native and Normandy High School graduate who started her college career at Coffeyville Community College, helped the Kansas Lady Jayhawks to the Division I National Title. She sprinted to a 4th place finish in the 200 and a sixth place on the 4×400 squad. Daniels will race in the 200 in Des Moines.
Many other collegians and post-collegians will compete after excellent 2012 and 2013 seasons. Eureka native and former University of Missouri and Florida 800 standout Shannon Leinert had a breakout 2012 season. Leinert made the semi-finals at the Olympic Trials and lowered her personal best to under 2:02.
She will be joined in the 800 by Cydney Ross. Ross just finished her five-year college career at Duke with Indoor and Outdoor NCAA Trophies in the 800. Ross earned a Personal Record of 2:02.xx two weeks ago in Eugene at the NCAA meet and hopefully has some left in the tank after a long college season.
In the 1500, Laura Roxberg will wrap up her Mizzou career in Des Moines. The Overland Park, KS. native qualified for the last three NCAA Division I track and field championship meets. She lowered her school record to 4:13 at Drake Stadium at the Drake Relays in April.
Entered in the 5000 is Jenny Barringer-Simpson. Simpson is the Florida native who had one of the greatest all-time collegiate distance running careers for Colorado. A 2008 Olympian in the Steeplechase who is the American Record Holder, Simpson captured the 2011 IAAF World Championship 1500 title. Jenny is married to Missourian Jason Simpson. Jason was an all-state runner on some great Liberty Blue Jay teams in high school. Jason then competed collegiately at Truman State University in Kirksville. The couple live in Colorado.
Caleb Hoover has qualified for his first ever USATF Meet. The Northern Arizona sophomore and former Missouri Class 1 star at College Heights Christian in Joplin will run in the steeplechase. Hoover helped his Lumberjack teammates to an NCAA 4th place team trophy at the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships with his top 90 finish. Hoover just missed qualifying for the Division I Outdoor National meet in the steeple, but his best time of 8:44 got him into the USA Meet.
In the steeplechase, three Missouri women had qualifying marks, just one will compete. College sophomores Colleen Quigley-Florida State, and Courtney Frerichs-UMKC, finished 2nd and 6th at the Division I meet in times of 9:38 and 9:55. Frerichs didn’t enter the meet but had a great Junior Nationals meet last year finishing second, which allowed her to compete for Team USA at the World Junior Championships. Quigley had entered the meet but has scratched. The one Missourian scheduled to race is St. Louisan Mary Goldkamp. Goldkamp, an all-stater in cross country for McCluer North, played soccer in her high school spring seasons. She went on to have an excellent final couple of years in college at Bradley University, breaking school records and qualifying twice for the Division I Regionals/Preliminary Round Championships. Goldkamp competes now for the Adidas/Team Rogue club.
After earning another NCAA Division I top 8 All-American trophy, Emily Sisson will run in the 10k race at USA’s. Sisson won just her second 10k in dominating fashion in route to the 2013 Big East Conference title. Sisson finished in 33:03, more than a minute ahead of the runner-up. Sisson finished 6th at the recent Division I Outdoor Meet in the 5k. Indoors Sisson faded from the meet-record setting pace in the 5k and finished 9th. After missing most of the cross country season, Sisson finished 15th at the 2012 Division I national meet. In 2012, Sisson placed 4th in the 5k at the NCAA Meet before advancing to the finals of the 5k at the Olympic Trials.
Despite Christian Cantwell being out, Missouri will be represented in the throws. St. Louisan Gwen Berry, a McCluer High School and Southern Illinois standout will look for her first World or Olympic Team USA berth. Berry was an alternate in the Hammer throw for the London Olympics and is coached by Southern Illinois’ John Smith and St. Charles native and four-time Olympian Connie Price-Smith. Southern Illinois sophomore, Troy High School graduate and Moscow Mills, Mo. native Deanna Price will shoot for a second straight USA medal. Price finished second at the 2012 USA Junior National Championships to earn a trip to the World Junior Championships. Price made her second straight NCAA Outdoor meet two weeks ago and earned her first NCAA trophy with her eighth place finish in the Hammer.
The shot put will feature Mizzou red-shirt sophomores Kearsten Peoples, Ottawa, Ks. and Jill Rushin, Jackson HS, Jackson, Mo. Peoples had a phenomenal 2012 with All-American trophies in the shot put and discus. Peoples added another trophy in Eugene, Or. two weeks ago with her 6th place finish in the shot put. At the 2012 Olympic Trials, Peoples placed 4th in the shot put, inching close to the 60 foot mark and the Olympic qualifying standard. Rushin will return to Drake stadium where she competed in the 2012 Division I Championships in the shot.
Fayette High School and NAIA National Champion while at Central Methodist University, Patrick Stroupe will again compete in the 20k race walk. A many time member of Team USA, Stroupe will try to meet the World/Olympic qualifying standard for the first time. Stroupe will be joined several of Missouri Baptist University athletes competing for Coach Patricia Hanna.
Like Christian Cantwell, another Missourian and event contender in the won’t compete in Des Moines. Bethany Buell won the NCAA Division I Pole Vault title in Eugene two weeks ago with a torn ligament in her shoulder and wearing a protective wrap. Buell captured the title on her final attempt, missing would have given her a second place finish. Buell cleared 14-7.25 to win and tie the meet record. Buell is skipping the meet after having surgery to repair the injury.
In the jumps, James Jenkins Jr. will try to repeat his 2009 USA performance. The former triple jump and high jump standout for Lindenwood University and Arkanas State University earned the bronze medal in the triple jump at the 2009 USATF Champs. Jenkins came up short of the World Championships qualifying standard though and missed out on a Team USA spot. Jenkins has taken up coaching and is doing so at the collegiate level. He competed in the high jump at the USA Indoor Championships in February in Albuquerque and he’ll compete in the triple jump in Des Moines. A former standout for Southern Boone County High School and Central Missouri, Andy Gilmore just missed qualifying for the meet in the high jump.
Former Emporia State University (Ks.) and MIAA conference star Josh Honeycutt is having a successful year as a post-collegian. Honeycutt captured the triple jump title at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships and will look to add for another medal in Des Moines.
One Missourian has qualified for the Men’s Long Jump while two others just missed. Mizzou senior Malcolm Pennix will compete in the Black and Gold one final time. Pennix jumped a season best of 25-8 at the SEC Indoor Championships to earn an accepted mark. Pennix is a South Bend, In. native who earned All-American honors at Kansas City Community College before finishing his career at Mizzou. Pennix qualified for three of four NCAA Meets in his time at Mizzou. He placed 14th at the Indoor Meet this year and 18th at the outdoor meet.
Two Missourians who just missed making it into the meet are Blake Carter and Cal Lane. Carter is a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University and is a Ft. Zumwalt North High School graduate from O’Fallon. In Eugene two weeks ago, Carter finished 10th while taking 13th at the Indoor NCAA Meet. Cal Lane was a state champion for Sikeston and spent some time competing in college at a Kansas Junior College. The pair have entry marks of 7.77 meters or 25-6, but just missed the field size cut-off point. Pennix will be joined in the competition by Laderrick Ward of Southern Illinois-Edwardsvile, just 17 miles from the St. Louis Arch. A sophomore, Ward fouled on all three of his attempts at the NCAA Outdoor Meet.
Despite their NCAA Division I National Titles two weeks ago, Lindsey Vollmer and Bethany Buell won’t compete in Des Moines. After her phenomenal and surprising, though well capable performance in Eugene to capture the Division I Heptathlon title and move in to the collegiate all-time top 10 total scores, Kansas sophomore and Penney (Hamilton) High School graduate Lindsay Vollmer has decided to skip the USA Meet to recover and return to training.
Not long before Vollmer secured the Heptathlon title at the Division I meet, Bethany Buell captured the Pole Vault crown. Buell did so on her final vault, a miss would have placed her second. Buell won the title while wearing a shoulder wrap to help secure and protect a torn ligament in her shoulder. An impressive feat. Buell has had surgery and should be ready to a shot at another NCAA trophy and title next year.
While Buell won’t vault in Des Moines, another of the all-time great Missouri prep vaulters will. Vera (Neuenswander) Schmitz, a two time NCAA trophy winner for Indiana and undefeated in the pole vault while at Jefferson City High School, which included three straight titles and a lost season due to illness. Neuenswander earned an NCAA Outdoor runner-up finish in 2009, and a 4th place finish at the outdoor meet
The Junior Championships will feature some Missouri natives and others competing collegiately for Missouri schools. McCluer North High School hurdle standout and Iowa signee Aaron Mallet will look for medals in both the 110 and 400 meter hurdles.
The same can be said for McCluer High’s Shaelyn Grant in both the 100 and 400 meter hurdles. Grant will be joined by Southern Illinois freshman and Lee’s Summit North graduate Remy Abrought in the 100 hurdles.
Josh McDonald captured his second straight Class 4 discus title and added a shot put crown for Timberland High School at the Missouri State High School Championships last month. Now the Wisconsin signee will look for a Pan-Am games spot in the discus in Iowa.
In the Junior Men’s 800, Charles Jones, who captured his second straight Class 3 title as a junior at Cardinal Ritter High School and member of the St. Louis Express Track Club will try to improve on his 1:49 personal record set as a sophomore. Southeast Missouri State University freshman Kameron Long, a Memphis, Tn. native enters the meet with a best of 1:52 for Coach Ryan Lane.
Second year Missouri cross country and distance coach Joe Lynn’s efforts have produced six qualifiers on the junior mens side. The 5k will include freshman Jordan Cook (Rock Bridge HS), Evan Chiplock and Dan Roe, while Tyler Schneider will run the 10k. The steeplechase will feature Shannon Hall (Liberty HS), and Tyler Rusboldt. Also in the Junior men’s 10k is one runner Coach Lynn couldn’t convince to join him at Mizzou. Brandon Shemonia is a former Missouri Class 2 State Champion for Scott City who now competes for Southern Illinois. Shemonia has already earned a 30:37 time for the 10k, very impressive for a freshman.
In the jumps, Nataliyah Friar closed out her phenomenal career for Wentzville-Holt with another triple jump state title along with all-state honors in the long jump, and 100 and 200, while not at a hundred percent. Friar, an LSU signee, will compete in both the long and triple jumps. If healthy, Friar would have had a shot at the all-time Missouri prep girls marks in both of the horizontal jumps.
A pair of Missouri Southern State University freshman have qualified in the horizontal jumps. Former Carthage All-Stater Kaylee Morgan has qualified in the long jump and has a wind-aided personal best of 20-1.75. Morgan placed 5th at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships last month. Morgan will be joined by teammate Brittani Reagan, a Bentonville, Ar. native. Regan placed 8th at the DII Meet last month in the long jump and 7th in the triple jump. She’ll jump in both events in Des Moines and has bests of 19-11 and 40-8.75.
After an All-American finish in the 4×100 in helping Kansas to the Women’s national title two weeks ago, Tianna Valentine will compete in the 100. Valetine concluded her high school career a year ago at Hazelwood East capturing the 100 and 200 State titles in Class 4 in all-time great times.
For meet info, schedule, and results check here: http://www.usatf.org/Events—Calendar/2013/USATFCS/Events/USA-Outdoor-Track—Field-Championships.aspx