World-ranked athletes headline track and field recruiting class

This year’s class includes recruits from five different countries.
Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics Mizzou Athletics

After the rush of the spring signing period, track and field head coach Brett Halter has finally finished his 2018 recruiting class.

In the spring signing period, Missouri added 12 athletes to bring its total for the class of 2018 to 33.

The Tigers signed athletes from all over the world, as five different countries are represented in this year’s class. Missouri also has five recruits represented in either the world junior or world youth rankings, including a gold medalist in the U-20 European Championships.

Here is a look at the headliners of the class:

Dzhois Koba

Koba is one of the recruits with international experience and has arguably the most impressive resume, with a U-20 European championship to her name.

The native of Vinnytsia, Ukraine, was a gold medalist in the 4x400 relay and is ranked 22nd in the world junior rankings in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.79.

She will bring big-time race experience to the sprint team. Her personal record of 52.79 is faster than any Tiger since 1982 and would be the third-fastest time in school history.

Roberto Vilches

Vilches hails from Mexico City and comes in with the highest world ranking the incoming class of Tigers with a No. 5 junior world ranking in the high jump.

Vilches will be expected to be an immediate contributor. His international success includes a gold medal in the PanAmerican Junior World Championships. Vilches personal record leap of 2.25 meters would have placed fifth in the NCAA Indoor National Championships this March and is higher than any Tiger athlete has jumped since 1982.

Mitch Weber

Weber will come to Missouri after completing an impressive career that includes being a three-time state champion in Minnesota. Weber also has the top mark in the discus for class the of 2018, with a personal-best throw of 59.99 meters.

Weber will join the redshirt junior duo of Will Fife and Avery Carter to strengthen what is already a strong group of throwers on the men’s side.

Kieran Wood

Wood is an experienced college runner who will come in next year with two years of eligibility remaining for the Tigers.

Wood tore up the track while competing in Cambridge, U.K. He will join Missouri after winning the 1,500-meter run 2017 BUCS Championships with a personal record of 3:45.62 that would have been a top-20 time at the NCAA Division I championships last June in Eugene.

Mirieli Santos

Santos is another internationally experienced athlete and is from Mato Grosso, Brazil.

She has experience in the triple and long jump and her record leap of 13.21 meters in the triple jump is ranked 21st in the world junior rankings and is a half a meter longer than the school record of 12.71 meters set by Hedvig Glomsroed in 2007.

Arianna Fisher

Fisher is another impressive jumper. Hailing from San Jose, California, her longest jump of 12.68 meters ranks 23rd in the world youth rankings.

Fisher and Santos will provide a lethal one-two combination in the horizontal jumps for the Tigers over the next four years.

Suenomi Norinh

Norinh could be the most well-rounded athlete in the incoming class, showing prowess in both jumps and sprints. She has the sixth-highest mark in the high jump for the class of 2018 with a jump of 1.75 meters.

The native of Zeeland, Michigan, had a strong all-around showing at last year’s state championships, winning the high jump and finishing sixth in the 300-meter hurdles and finishing second in the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles.

Not surprisingly, Norinh has had the most success in the heptathlon. Her record of 4,695 points ranks 23rd in the world in the junior youth rankings.

Morgan O’Neal

O’Neal is an impressive hurdler who will also be able to contribute in the 400-meter dash next year for the Tigers. Her time of 59.91 in the 400-meter hurdles ranks 10th nationally for the class of 2018.

The hurdler from Sylacauga, Alabama, is a six-time state champion who has won state titles in the 100-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash. O’Neal will be an instant contributor for the sprint team.

A 4x400 relay team with O’Neal and Koba could score a lot of points in the future for the Tigers.

Victor Mugeche and Tori Findley

Mugeche and Findley are the top distance runners from the state of Missouri. The teammates from Blue Springs each won state titles in cross-country in 2017, Mugeche on the men’s side and Findley for the women.

Mugeche will join his older brother, Stephen, on the distance team. Stephen is a redshirt sophomore for the Tigers who also runs cross-country.

Findley is one of the top high school runners in the Midwest, finishing seventh at the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regionals.

Findley and Mugeche might contribute more to the cross-country team, but they will both be important contributors to the distance team in track and field.

Edited by Joe Noser |

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