Strong individual performances at the Music City Challenge help Missouri track and field finish strong

The Tigers secured three event wins on top of the 18 personal records.

Something that Missouri track and field targets before every meet is continued improvement, to keep getting better. In the last meet of the regular season, the team put on display the work they have been putting in this season, setting a total of 18 new personal records.

The Tigers finished up their 2021 indoor season over the weekend at the Music City Challenge in Nashville. The Tigers only got three event wins, but that doesn’t do justice to how this team performed.

Senior Jayson Ashford had a chance to complete his undefeated season in the 200-meter race, something many athletes have never accomplished. He made sure to fulfill that with one of his best races of the year, as he held the lead from start to finish. Ashford finished first with a time of 21.34, a little shy of his personal record, but enough for first place.

Ashford now hopes to have this undefeated season continue at the SEC Indoor Championship as he wraps up his indoor collegiate career.

Senior Nylo Clarke finished just behind him at 21.63. Clarke has flown under the radar behind Ashford, so this performance was a big milestone for him.

Senior Chris Conrad had his first race in over a week, but he shook off the rust quickly, as he almost beat his own personal record in the men’s 800-meter race with a time of 1:48.92.

Conrad was behind the whole race until the last seconds, just getting past the finish line in first with his last burst of energy. He still holds the fifth fastest mark in the nation for the event, qualifying him for the NCAA Championships.

The last win for the Tigers came from the women’s side. Sophomore Mara Hausler finished in first place in the women’s triple jump. She beat out two of her teammates, sophomores Euphenie Andre and Mirieli Santos with a mark of 12.73 meters.

After the women were unable to get a win last weekend at the Arkansas Qualifier, this was a major confidence boost that this team needed going into the postseason.

The last meet of the regular season always has a different feel for seniors as they end their collegiate season, and senior Sarah Chapman had one of her best performances of her career this past weekend.

Chapman, someone who also hasn’t been mentioned much this season, set a new personal record in the women’s 3000-meter race with a time of 9:20.95. She finished second in the event, but her time was the sixth fastest in program history, a remarkable way to finish the season.

The Tigers get some rest with no competition this week, leaving time to fully focus on the SEC Indoor Championships, a meet that many of these athletes have been waiting for this season.

The SEC Indoor Championships will take place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a place the Tigers have already competed twice at this season. It will begin on Thursday, Feb. 25 and finish on Saturday, Feb 27.

Edited by Kyle Pinnell | kpinnell@themaneater.com

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