Hank Noah, 23 Sports

The Missouri Tigers men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Missouri Collegiate Challenge on Friday in the Hearnes Center. Friday’s meet was the last indoor regular season meet for the Tigers, and they performed extremely well. Eleven Tigers finished in first place at the meet, but the story of the night was the record-breaking performances by redshirt freshman Ja’Mari Ward and junior Valeria Kostiuk.

Ward, a communications major from Cahokia, Illinois, beat the Mizzou long jump record as he jumped an incredible 7.97 meters. The previous long jump record was held by Yussuf Alli, who jumped 7.91 meters back in 1984. Valeria Kostiuk, a Kiev, Ukraine native, also set a best as she tied the high jump record as she jumped 1.83 meters. This jump led her to a first-place finish.

Mizzou Head Coach Brett Halter spoke on the amazing meet Mizzou had: “I thought it was a good day, and I think we are right where we want to be heading into championship season next weekend. We had some terrific breakthroughs, beginning with Ja’Mari Ward putting a big national mark up in the long jump. Valeria (Kostiuk) got back to where she’s been with her high jump mark, which was really nice to see… As a team, today’s performance shows where the team is a whole, and we are all looking forward to getting into some really fun competition over the next couple weeks.” (mutigers.com).

Mizzou will next compete in the indoor SEC championships later this coming week.