Eighth Annual Beauty and the Beast Meet Preview

3 years 1 month 2 weeks ago February 06, 2014 Feb 6, 2014 Thursday, February 06 2014 Thursday, February 06, 2014 4:40:00 PM CST in Sports
By: Thomas Bradbury, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - On Friday, 9th ranked Missouri Wrestling will take on Buffalo, while Missouri Gymnastics competes against Southeast Missouri State, at the same time and in the same venue.

The Beauty and the Beast event made its debut in 2007, combining two of Missouri's sports to give fans a fast-paced and unique experience.

GYMNASTICS: Missouri comes into Friday's meeting looking for its first victory of the season after a close loss to North Carolina State almost a week ago.

The Tigers look for continued all-around strong performances from juniors Laura Kappler and Rachel Updike. Kappler had her season best against North Carolina State, she scored an all around score of 39.125. Updike has been consistently Missouri's best on Vault this season, she's posted Missouri's best score in vault in all four meets so far, Including winning the event title in the past two match-ups.

A freshman to watch is Angie Kern. Last meet she had a personal best of 9.825 on her floor routine. Her score is the second best mark any Tiger has received on their floor routine this year.

Kern said,"I'm feeling really confident going into this meet, and I am excited to compete alongside wrestling. The atmosphere is going to be great."

Missouri and SEMO are looking to restore their rich history together. The two programs met every year from 1990-2011 with the Tigers holding a 27-6 lead over that stretch.

WRESTLING: Missouri boasts an impressive roster including Junior Drake Houdashelt. With two top-10 victories, he was recognized with his second MAC Wrestler of the Week honor. Houdashelt is 27-1 on the season. Houdashelt is widely regarded as the best of the 149 pounders in collegiate wrestling this year.

Senior Zach Toal is having his best season yet, 20-4 in his final collegiate season and ranked 10th among the 165 pound weight class.

A freshman to watch is J'Den Cox. The Hickman high school graduate  holds a 26-2 record on the season. Cox is well-known in Missouri Wrestling circles. He won four straight Missouri State titles in high school and is ranked 3rd nationally in his weight class.

Missouri is coming off of two months of tough road competition including its past two meets against top ten competition in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Tigers beat sixth-ranked Oklahoma and lost to ninth-ranked Oklahoma State.

Buffalo is currently on a six match losing streak.

The event begins Friday 6:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center.

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