Missouri starts outdoor season with bang, grabs 12 wins in first home meet

Sweeps in the 5,000-meter and 4x100-meter races helped the Tigers’ performance.

With a chance to start the outdoor track and field season at home with the Mizzou Spring Opener, Missouri made sure to take advantage with absolute domination throughout the two-day event.

The Tigers’ main competition was long-time rival Kansas, which created a competitive atmosphere at Audrey J. Walton Track-Soccer Stadium since these teams rarely face off in any sports.

In some of the new events that come with the outdoor season, Missouri performed well. Senior Jason Edwards took first in the javelin throw, launching it 60.20 meters. Senior Jordan McClendon also won the women’s hammer throw, squeaking past her teammate, senior Sydney Oberdiek, with a distance of 59.94 meters.

Missouri really took control during the nightcap on Friday. In the cold weather, the Tigers swept the 5,000-meter races, with junior Marquette Wilhite and sophomore Isabelle Christiansen finishing on top.

An advantage for Missouri that some might not have considered: Christiansen and sophomore Jenna Schwartz, who finished second, were able to request songs to hear while they were racing. The top choice of “Levitating” by Dua Lipa may have been a factor in their race, as they led the entire way.

Missouri track athletes that weren’t participating in that day’s competition controlled the music at the stadium. They made sure to have fun with that job, with the iconic “Cupid Shuffle” even making an appearance at one point.

“It was a fun first day of the outdoor season,” coach Brett Halter said. “Both teams have been putting in the work, so it was enjoyable to see the validation of those efforts. No doubt we will see the same tomorrow.”

He wasn’t wrong about that, as Saturday the team added seven more wins.

The trio of Tigers in the men’s 800-meter race from the indoor season traveled to the outdoor season. Sophomore Jonathan Schmidt finished first with a time of 1:52.31. Freshman Angus Beer and senior Robert Kuhlmann finished right behind him to round out the top three.

The men’s and women’s teams both finished first in the 4x100-meter races and the 400-meter hurdles. Sophomore Jacob Brunsman capped off the meet with a win in the 200-meter dash, with a bolt of 21.93 seconds.

“Impressive weekend for the Tigers,” Halter said. “Our message several weeks ago to the team was to elevate. Elevate from wherever you may be. Strive to improve. To a person that competed this weekend, we watched those efforts play out. Much more ahead for the Tigers.”

This weekend the Tigers will compete in the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.

Edited by Jack Soble | jsoble@themaneater.com

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