The Missouri Tigers track and field program officially signed an impressive group of athletes on April 18. The spring class of 2017 signees include a number of strong resumes and will all be valuable additions to the team.
This class brings in a multitude of diverse athletes who will help bolster the roster next season. With this recruiting class, the team is able to bring much-needed help in certain areas and important depth in others. The 13 athletes will join an impressive fall signing class headlined by Missouri native Austin Hindman, who currently is ranked second in the nation in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 8:43.40.
Here is a look into one half of what Mizzou track and field will be bringing to the competition come spring 2018:
Ashford, who competed at Saint Louis University High, ran a personal-best time of 21.13 in the 200-meter dash last June. Ashford is currently ranked 82 nationally in the 200 with a 21.49, but if his personal best of 21.13 from June was used then he would jump all the way to 12 on the current rankings. Ashford also sports a personal best of 10.65 in the 100-meter dash and 48.62 in the 400. He is the current Missouri state champion in the 200-meter. Ashford competed on the national level previously when he ran in the USATF National Junior Olympics.
Bain hails from Parkway Central High School in St. Louis. She is a distance runner who will be one of the many additions to the already-impressive women’s distance team. Her current personal bests in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs are 5:25.15 and 11:47.0, respectively, which she ran her sophomore year of high school. Her 5K time is 19:33.1.
Cuskelly is a junior college transfer from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. In 2016, he was the NJCAA runner-up in the high jump with a personal best of 2.2 meters or 7 feet 2.5 inches. After spending two years in junior college, Cuskelly has two years of college eligibility left and will contribute to the jumps team.
Another distance runner, Glowacki is from Naperville, Illinois and ran for Naperville North High School. Her personal bests of 11:10.53 and 17:56.4 in the 3,200-meter and three-mile runs will make her a great addition to the team as she looks to be a solid contributor for years to come.
Coming from William Fremd High School in Illinois, Hanson will join the throwing team. He is ranked No. 24 in the nation in shot put with a 61 feet 11 inch throw. Hanson was a three-sport athlete at Fremd, where he played offensive line for the football team and lacrosse in addition to his time on the track and field squad. Hanson brings a great deal of athleticism and strength to the team.
One of two international athletes in this year’s signing class, Kostiuk is a high jumper from Ukraine and also comes from Butler Community College. Kostiuk finished second at the 2016 NJCAA Outdoor National Championships and sports a personal best of 1.76 meters in college. Similar to Cuskelly, she, too, will have only two years of eligibility at Mizzou.
Out of Belvidere, Illinois, Lutzow is the current 2A Illinois Cross Country champion. This past year, she led Belvidere North to a class 2A state championship. Her time of 16:35 at Detweiller Park, where the state championship is held, would have earned her third place in the 3A class, which is the largest school class in cross country. She was the runner-up in the 800-meter run in the 2016 IHSA 3A Track and Field State Championships and is the number one returning runner in the event for this spring’s championships. Her personal best in the 800 is 2:11.80, which she ran at the state championships, and she has a personal best in the 1,600-meter run of 5:07.04.
Maddox, from Riverside, Missouri, is another distance runner in this strong class. She competed for Park Hill South High School. Her 3,200 best time of 11:44.58 and 5K best time of 19:15.2 stack up well against other Missouri recruits.
Another international athlete, Makaeva will join the throwing team at Mizzou and will look to progress in the discus throw. She competed in the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships for Bulgaria and placed 13th in the second qualifying round. She has a personal best of 48.38 meters or 158 feet 8 inches.
Another state champion to add to the list, Menghini is a Missouri native and attended Rockwood Summit High School. She is the 2016 Class 4 800-meter state champion with a personal best of 2:14.45 and also placed eighth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:12.98. She will be transferring from New Hampshire to return to her home state and compete for the Tigers.
Oberdiek is a thrower from Weston, Missouri, where she competed for West Platte High School. Her best in the shot put is 35 feet 11 inches, which she threw this past season. She has a personal best of 117 feet in the discus and 93 feet 4 inches in the javelin.
Coming all the way from San Antonio, Texas, Puller is a sprinter who primarily runs the 400-meter dash. She set a personal best of 56.76 in 2015 at the UIL Region 4-6A meet and holds multiple individual and relay school records at Brandeis High School. Her 400-meter speed will be a great asset for years to come.
Another nationally ranked athlete in the spring class of 2017, Speer is a thrower out of Dighton, Kansas. She is currently ranked nationally at No. 12 in the shot put and No. 43 in the javelin throw. She boasts personal bests of 46 feet 9.5 inches in shot put and 135 feet 3 inches in javelin. A three-time state champion in Kansas, she will look to repeat that feat this spring.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org