Vilches debuts long jump in victory for MU track and field
Missouri jumper Roberto Vilches hadn’t competed in the long jump since high school. In fact, the Mexico City native hadn’t even practiced for the event this season until last Thursday.
“I don’t like the long jump,” Vilches said. “I’m trying to focus my main event on the high jump.”
But even personal distaste couldn’t prevent the freshman from winning the event at the Missouri Collegiate Challenge on Saturday at the Hearnes Center. Vilches did not just win, he recorded the fourth-best mark in program history (25 feet, 8 inches).
“Since the warmups I felt like I was going to jump well, and I felt pretty good about it,” Vilches said. “But I want to stick to high jump in the future because I’m almost in the Olympics in there.”
The long jump was one of five field events won by Missouri at the track and field meet on Saturday. It was preceded by Cece Johnson and Rebecca Keating placing first and second in the women’s weight throw (62 feet, 10.5 inches and 58 feet, 8 inches, respectively), and followed by Avery Carter‘s victory in the men’s weight throw (63 feet, 5.5 inches), Emily Stauffer winning the women’s shot put (50 feet, 8 inches) and Will Fife‘s triumph in the men’s shot put (60 feet, 3.25 inches).
Johnson’s mark was good enough to move her up to sixth on Missouri’s all-time list in the women’s weight throw.
Missouri’s only victory in the track events came in the women’s 800-meter, where the Tigers swept the first four places. Michaela Hackbarth (2 minutes, 20.17 seconds) finished just above Jenna Lutzow, Emma Roth and Faramola Shonekan to take the victory.
The Tigers also placed second in six other events, and placed first in the men’s 4x400-meter relay before later being disqualified in the event.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Missouri sent Martin Prodanov, Jayson Ashford, Dustan Davidson and Kieran Wood to South Bend, Indiana, to compete in the distance medley relay event at the Alex Wilson Invitational. The team placed sixth, but its time of 9 minutes, 37.44 seconds was the third-fastest in school history.
Next up, the Tigers will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to compete in the SEC Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday.