Posted: Mar 10, 2013 11:26 AM
FAYETTEVILLE, AR -- The Tigers conclude the NCAA Indoor Championships with one top ten and one All-American finish, as Markesh Woodson rounds out his history-making freshman season with a fifth-place finish in the 60m dash. Sophomore Kearsten Peoples also walked away from the shot put competition with a ninth-place finish, landing within the top ten in a competition which saw a new collegiate record of 19.22m (63-0.75).
"Being fifth as a freshman makes me feel really good, and makes me feel really good about outdoor," Woodson said. "I just don't think it's settled in really yet, I had high expectations for myself to do well and I know I can do better. But fifth place as a freshman, I'll take it."
It was an event plagued by false starts, as Woodson was forced to restart twice during the preliminary round and once more during today's final. He advanced to the finals with a 6.65, and finished out today's competition at 6.66, 0.06 off his latest school record and winning time at the SEC Championships. He is the first freshman to make it to the finals of the event since 2011, and finished behind seniors from Mississippi State, Auburn, and TCU.
"I am very proud of Markesh. The biggest thing that he had to learn about was how to perform in the face of adversity, when there are multiple false starts," said sprints/horizontal jumps Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson. "It's very high stakes, and people make mistakes when they get into pressure situations. So for him to survive yesterday and make it through finals today...It shows that he has some maturity about him, to be able to stay in the moment and not let all the outside stuff distract him."
Peoples also entered the competition with a school record performance, coming in at 13th in the field with her indoor best of 16.87m (55-4.25). Her best mark of the competition came during the second attempt, where she landed at 16.72m (54-10.25) to make the finals and improve upon her ranking by four spots.
"[Moving up in the field] was definitely a positive," Peoples said. "I've changed my technique a bit, and I'm really excited about it. So I just need to trust it and have fun."
The Tigers will kick off their outdoor at home with the Missouri Relays at home on March 22.