Tigers finish high across the board in season-opening meet

Freshman Arianna Fisher posted a school indoor record in the women’s triple jump.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

Redshirt junior Avery Carter and redshirt sophomore Patrick Kunza started the day off by quite literally doing the heavy lifting for their Tiger teammates.

Coming in first and second, respectively, in the men’s weight throw, the tandem set the tone for a strong team performance in the Holiday Opener Saturday at Hearnes Center. Carter set a personal record by nearly a whole meter, besting his old mark of 19.22 with a finish of 20.17 on Saturday.

That was just the beginning of a long day for Missouri’s competition. While in-state foes such as Missouri State, Missouri University of Science and Technology and Columbia College had their fair share of strong individual performances, it was the host Tigers that controlled the event from the outset.

On the men’s side, Carter and Kunza got things started. The story was much the same in subsequent field events. Landon Cuskelly won the men’s high jump with a finish of 2.11 meters, a personal best, while freshman and Bulgaria native Georgi Nachev morning won the men’s triple high jump in his collegiate debut with a mark of 15.15 m, good for tenth best in school history in indoor competition. Will Fife won the men’s shot put with a distance of 18.00 m.

The Tigers enjoyed similar success in the women’s field events. Seniors Karissa Roman and Valeria Kostiuk led the high jump competition with their 1.75 meter jumps in the finals, placing first and second.

The Tigers fell to the middle of the pack in the women’s long jump with Keyoni Mbroh placing sixth and Arielle Mack placing seventh.

In the shot put, six Missouri women placed in the top-10. Gabi Jacobs placed first followed by Emily Stauffer and Jordan Speer. Also, CeCe Johnson earned second in the weight throw followed by Stauffer in third.

As the meet progressed, the Tigers continued to assert their dominance in the track events.

One especially strong performance on the men’s side was that of redshirt freshman Jayson Ashford. The St. Louis University High School product finished with a time of 21.60 seconds in the 200 meter dash, good for the ninth-best indoor mark in school history. Later in the day, Ashford was the anchor of the 4x400 meter relay team that came in first place with a collective time of 3:22.23. Also of note was Chris Conrad’s PR of 1:19.61 and first place finish in the 600 meter dash.

In women’s track events, Tsai-Anne Joseph represented Missouri by making the finals and placing eighth in the 60 meter dash. Valeska Halamicek and Erica Rideout both placed second in the women’s 600 meter run and the 800 meter run, respectively.

The Tigers’ season got off to an ideal start, but they now have over a month before their next race, as competition kicks back into gear on Friday, Jan. 12 with the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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