KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Olympic Sports Olympic Sports en-us Copyright 2020, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 17 Feb 2020 HH:02:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Blair Oaks wrestler tabs 100 career wins https://www.komu.com/news/blair-oaks-wrestler-tabs-100-career-wins/ https://www.komu.com/news/blair-oaks-wrestler-tabs-100-career-wins/ Olympic Sports Mon, 10 Feb 2020 9:11:19 PM James Stanley, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Blair Oaks wrestler tabs 100 career wins

WARDSVILLE - Blair Oaks wrestling took care of Fatima and the Missouri Military Academy on the wrestling mat Monday night which featured a milestone win. 

Blair Oaks 138-pound senior Caleb Meeks squared off against MMA's Holden Smart as the second varsity matchup of the night.

Smart put up a tough fight, but was unable to stop Meeks unrelenting strength.

Eventually Meeks pinned him for win no. 100 as a Blair Oaks Falcon.

"Caleb has been through a lot in his career and that was always a goal for him to get 100 wins," Blair Oaks wrestling head coach Mike DeMilia said. "For him to get 100 wins is a great accomplishment."

Meeks improved to 30-8 on the season and next week will look to add on to his career win total in districts before finishing out February in the state championship in Columbia.  

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Mizzou Hall of Famer Ben Askren announces retirement from MMA https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-hall-of-famer-ben-askren-announces-retirement-from-mma/ https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-hall-of-famer-ben-askren-announces-retirement-from-mma/ Olympic Sports Tue, 19 Nov 2019 5:28:26 AM Allen Kim, CNN Mizzou Hall of Famer Ben Askren announces retirement from MMA

(CNN) -- UFC fighter Ben Askren, 35, announced his retirement Monday while on the ESPN podcast "Ariel Helwani's MMA Show."

"I'm retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts, and frankly, I'm retiring from everything," Askren told Helwani. "I've been having hip problems and I finally had the discussion with my doctor. I actually got the MRI before my last fight and I need a hip replacement. So, man, that's it for me."

Askren is a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Missouri and competed at the 2008 Olympics.

He was named a member of the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

He held the welterweight championship for the Bellator fighting league for several years before joining ONE Championship, where he held the welterweight title from 2014 to 2017.

Askren retired in 2017, but came out of retirement for a chance to fight in the UFC. He joined the UFC a little more than a year ago as a high-profile signing in a trade with the ONE Championship fighting league in exchange for fighter Demetrious Johnson.

In his UFC debut, Askren defeated Robbie Lawler. However, his last two fights were losses, with Askren defeated by Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia in consecutive fights.

Askren retires with a record of 19 wins, two losses and one no contest.

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Missouri wheelchair basketball goes international https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-wheelchair-basketball-goes-international/ https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-wheelchair-basketball-goes-international/ Olympic Sports Tue, 15 Oct 2019 7:56:35 PM Garrett Tiehes, KOMU 8 Sports Missouri wheelchair basketball goes international

COLUMBIA – Missouri Wheelchair Basketball Coach Ron Lykins and player Colin Higgins were named to the 2019 ParaPan Am games in Lima, Peru.

The games were from August 23 to September 1.

Colin Higgins is a 29-year-old wheelchair basketball player from Rothesay, New Brunswick in Canada.

“I started playing wheel chair basketball in the winter of 2014, I injured my leg, my knee and my ankle in 2012, my mom’s a nurse, she works with an OT (occupational therapist) , who plays wheelchair basketball, she said ‘Hey come try it out.’ So, I tried, I fell in love and that kind of led me here,” Higgins said.

At first Higgins didn’t believe he was good enough to make the team.

“It took me awhile to figure out that’s what I was really going for, two of my mentors starting out were two national team players from my home providence or state,” he said. “So, I kind of heard stories of what it was all about, but I put them on such a pedestal that I really didn’t think I could get there.”

Since then, Higgins has made the Canadian national team three times, winning a silver medal in 2017 in Cali, Columbia.

On the other hand, Ron Lykins is one of the greatest U.S. coaches, winning 3 gold medals in the Paralympic games. Coaching in 17 International competitions, Lykins has made the gold medal round 15 times, and won 10 of them.

Even he believed in Higgins making the national team this year.

“I knew he would make it, I thought he would’ve made it, he had a really good year for us, he was already a good player before then, I think his year here he got even better,” Lykins said.

At the games, both team Canada and team USA made the gold medal round, Canada beating Columbia in the semifinal and U.S.A. beating Argentina.

Going into the gold medal game, Lykins didn’t focus on Higgins but knew he would be a part of Canada’s scheme.

“I knew if he played, he’d be difficult for us to match up with. I was happy for him; I was rooting for him the whole time except against us," he said.

[Higgins is] “Very hard nose, high intensity player, can do a lot of things, he can handle the ball, he can play around the perimeter, he can play in the post, both offensively and defensively, he can play in the half court, the full court. He’s the kind of kid that can do a lot of things and you can use him a lot of different ways.” Lykins said.

USA beat Canada in the final game, 76 to 43 Higgins had 4 points.

Both teams qualified for the Paralympic games in Tokyo 2020.

Higgins will use these recent games to prepare for Tokyo.

“Honestly I’ve never played in a game of that magnitude before, but it was a great learning experience, and hopefully we can take that into next year, and improve the color of our medal,” Higgins said.

The 2020 Paralympics games in Tokyo start August 25.

For now, Higgins and Lykins are focusing on the upcoming season for Missouri, the season opener is October 25, at the Intercollegiate Tournament in Marshall, Minnesota.

Last year the Mizzou Wheelchair basketball team finished fourth in the 2019 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

This year, the team looks to improve on their fourth-place finish.

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Pipe bombs indictment carries potential life prison penalty https://www.komu.com/news/pipe-bombs-indictment-carries-potential-life-prison-penalty/ https://www.komu.com/news/pipe-bombs-indictment-carries-potential-life-prison-penalty/ Olympic Sports Fri, 9 Nov 2018 1:12:43 PM The Associated Press Pipe bombs indictment carries potential life prison penalty

NEW YORK (AP) — The Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump was indicted Friday on charges carrying a potential penalty of life in prison.

The 30-count indictment against Cesar Sayoc was handed up in Manhattan federal court, where Sayoc made an initial appearance earlier this week after he was brought to New York.

Sayoc, 56, was arrested Oct. 26 in Florida on five charges carrying a potential sentence upon conviction of nearly 50 years.

Authorities said he sent improvised explosive devices to numerous Democrats, critics of Trump and CNN. The scare heightened tensions before the crucial midterm elections, but he was arrested within days.

Prosecutors followed through on a promise to upgrade the charges with an indictment that led with five counts alleging use of a weapon of mass destruction. The document said he mailed 16 improvised explosive devices though the U.S. mail to victims across the country.

The charges said he aimed to "kill, injure and intimidate an individual and unlawfully to damage and destroy a building, vehicle, and other real and person property."

None of the devices — some of which arrived at New York addresses — exploded.

A message left with Sayoc's lawyer was not immediately returned.

Sayoc appeared in New York earlier this week. He was held without bail. Sayoc had been arrested outside a South Florida auto parts store. He had been living in a van covered with stickers of Trump and showing images of some Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.

In the indictment, prosecutors noted that an improvised explosive mailed to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua, New York, contained a picture of Clinton and members of her family marked with a red "X."

The indictment said others targeted by the mailings also received similarly marked pictures of themselves along with the explosives.

Others targeted by the mailings included former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker. Packages were also mailed to CNN in New York and Atlanta.

Prosecutors say evidence against Sayoc includes DNA linking him to 10 of the explosive devices and fingerprints on two of them.

The case was randomly assigned to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. It was not immediately announced when Sayoc will be arraigned. At that time, he will enter a plea to the charges.


Associated Press Writer Jim Mustian contributed to this report

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Columbia College Softball rallies, defeats Southern Oregon https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-rallies-defeats-southern-oregon/ https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-rallies-defeats-southern-oregon/ Olympic Sports Tue, 30 May 2017 9:42:45 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Columbia College Softball rallies, defeats Southern Oregon

CLERMONT, Fla. - Helias High School graduate Paxton Welch threw 6.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Lauren McCroskie and the No. 2 Columbia College Cougars (48-6) defeated the No. 8 Southern Oregon Raiders (46-15) 5-2 to advance in the NAIA Softball World Series elimination bracket on Tuesday.

The Cougars trailed 2-0 after two innings of play before striking for five unanswered runs sparked by a two hit, two RBI performance from Hickman High School graduate Molly Carter. 

Columbia is one of four teams still alive in the tournament and will play LSU-Alexandria on Wednesday afternoon in another elimination game.

The Cougars are four wins away from the title. They will need to win two more games in the elimination bracket prior to defeating the champion of the winner's bracket twice in order to be crowned champions.

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Columbia College Softball loses; moves to elimination bracket https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-loses-moves-to-elimination-bracket/ https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-college-softball-loses-moves-to-elimination-bracket/ Olympic Sports Mon, 29 May 2017 9:06:57 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Columbia College Softball loses; moves to elimination bracket

CLERMONT, Fla. - The No. 2 Columbia College (47-6) softball team fell to No. 6 Corban College (45-11) 5-0 at the NAIA Softball World Series on Monday.

The shutout loss drops the Cougars into the elimination bracket of the tournament where they will face No. 8 Southern Oregon on Tuesday afternoon.

Lauren McCroskie took the loss for the Cougars, going 2.1 innings allowing six hits and three earned runs. Columbia managed five hits against Corban's Sabrina Boyd who threw a complete game shutout in the circle.

Columbia must win three games in the elimination bracket to reach the Championship where they will have to beat the team who advances from the winner's bracket twice to win the title. 

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TARGET 8: Missouri Gymnastics posts abnormally high departure numbers https://www.komu.com/news/target-8-missouri-gymnastics-posts-abnormally-high-departure-numbers/ https://www.komu.com/news/target-8-missouri-gymnastics-posts-abnormally-high-departure-numbers/ Olympic Sports Mon, 8 May 2017 1:59:18 PM Mark Kim and Mitchel Summers, KOMU 8 Sports Reporters TARGET 8: Missouri Gymnastics posts abnormally high departure numbers

COLUMBIA - Since the end of the 2013-2014 season, eight Missouri gymnasts have left the team for non-injury concerns, which is one of the highest rates in the SEC during that time frame, according to public information.

Missouri led the SEC in non-injury related departures in both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

The gymnastics team is also second in non-injury related departures among non-revenue women's sports at Missouri, according to data collected by KOMU 8 News.  


KOMU 8 News has been comparing Missouri gymnastics rosters since the 2013-2014 season. That was the first season of head coach Shannon Welker. We've noticed that a high number of gymnasts with eligibility remaining would disappear from the roster for unclear reasons. We labeled these "non-injury related departures." To be considered for this statistic, an athlete had to have either transferred schools or left for unclear reasons. If an athlete left the team for reasons like career-ending injuries, academic issues or left the team but stayed as a manager, they were not included in this statistic. 

In the past three seasons, Missouri has lost Anna Bowers, Rachel Henderson, Lark Pokladnik, Rachel Updike, Sasha Sander, Jordyn Doherty, Kelli Martin and Storee Yzaguirre.

Welker used phrases such as “pursuit of other interests” and “personal reasons” as reasons for those gymnasts leaving.  

KOMU 8 News spoke to some of these former gymnasts, and they said Welker’s depictions of their departures aren’t necessarily true.

Yzaguirre can’t help but look back at the memories of her Missouri gymnastics career.

“When I visited Mizzou, there was something different about it. Everything just seemed right. It seemed like it was a place that was for me,” Yzaguirre said.

She performed in exhibition twice and once scored a 9.775 on beam. She said her coaches, especially Welker, took notice.  

“He told me at one point last year that I had the potential to have one of the best beam routines in the NCAA.”

But Yzaguirre’s future in gymnastics changed in the summer of 2016 when she noticed an incorrect charge in her bank account in June.

Storee Yzaguire’s bank account is pictured above. Yzaguirre said she closed the account soon after seeing the charge of $777.95 to Log Hill Properties.


According to court documents, the financial charge came from Morgan Porter, Yzaguirre's teammate on the gymnastics team. At first, Yzaguirre said, she couldn't believe Porter was connected with the charge.   

“Like, there’s some kind of mistake. This couldn’t have happened. There was no part of me that actually thought it was her,” Yzaguirre said.

According to court documents, Yzaguirre and Porter were roommates the year prior. Yzaguirre said she believes that’s when Porter took her account information.

She said Porter was initially dismissive of the claims. From there, she said, she approached Welker.

“He told me that he wanted to have us handle this internally,” Yzaguirre said of the meeting.

Yzaguirre’s mother also emailed Mizzou Compliance asking about the situation. Representatives from Missouri's athletic department and student conduct departments were in touch with Yzaguirre. Sarah Reesman, Missouri's athletic director at the time, was also involved in these conversations.

As the summer passed by with little change on the situation, Yzaguirre switched her focus back to gymnastics. She was preparing to compete in the upcoming 2016-2017 season on the beam, where she said Welker had previously told her she would be featured.

However, Yzaguirre said her next meeting with Welker took an unexpected turn.

“We had another conversation and immediately, basically just told me that I was never going to compete, and he wasn't going to let me and if I wanted to do college gymnastics that I couldn't do it here at Mizzou. I was released from the team about two and a half weeks before school started, kind of leaving me without time to transfer,” Yzaguirre said.

Yzaguirre said she saw no other option but to file a police report.

Prosecutors then filed charges accusing Porter of misdemeanor Fraudulent Use of Credit/Debit Device over $500.00. Months later, Porter pleaded guilty to misdemeanor passing of a bad check.

Porter received probation and community service from the courts. She was given a small suspension by Missouri gymnastics and allowed back on the team, while Yzaguirre was removed.

“I feel like Shannon is working pretty hardly against me in this case. Morgan is probably the best one on the team, so I think he's fighting really hard for her,” Yzaguire said.

While athletes being removed from a team isn’t abnormal, especially when there are changes in coaches, former gymnasts say this situation is different.

Several former athletes told KOMU 8 News they had problems with Welker's coaching and saw issues no matter whether the woman was a walk on or a star athlete.

“I could see the way he treated other girls. I knew it wasn't right.” said Rachel Updike, an All-American gymnast who starred at Missouri from 2011-2014.

When Lark Pokladnik was on the team from 2013-2014, she said, she felt Welker created an uncomfortable environment for his team.

“There was not a day that I walked into the gym excited to be there. Every day I went in I was like, ‘What torture am I going to experience today?’” Pokladnik said.

Pokladnik said she immediately ran into problems with Welker’s coaching style.

For their first away meet at Alabama in 2013, she was told there wasn’t space on the flight; however, she said, she remembered an injured athlete and a team media person being taken instead of her.

“He was definitely intentionally trying to keep me out. Like, just to get me off the team. Just to say that there wasn't proof that I was contributing,” Pokladnik said.

Several athletes said once they were injured, Welker would either force them to compete or cast them aside. For former Missouri gymnast Jordyn Doherty she dealt with both situations as a Missouri gymnast from 2014-2015.

Doherty landed awkwardly at a scrimmage and tore ligaments in her foot. She said, even though her foot was black and blue and in a boot for a month, Welker didn’t relent. 

Jordyn Doherty (right) is wearing a boot in this photo. She says coach Shannon Welker pushed her even while she nursed this injury.

“I was trying to get across to Shannon that ‘I can barely walk. Like I really need you to work with me here,’” Doherty said.

Athletes inside the gym said extreme pressure made them adopt harmful dieting habits. Doherty said the pressure pushed her to extreme lengths.

“I was going to the extent of taking laxatives and not eating. And when I was eating, I was eating celery, and I don’t like celery at all. But I was holding my nose just to get celery down just to get something in my body,” Doherty said.  

A head coach can add or remove players at their discretion, but Welker’s approach left many athletes feeling without clear reasoning. Privacy laws and other collegiate athletics policies make it even more difficult for the media and general public to know what is happening inside programs.

Doherty didn’t compete in the 2014-2015 season because of her foot injury. She had made it to the end of year banquet, and she said the coaching staff spoke highly of her return. 

“At the banquet in front of my friends, my family, my teammates, staff, [Coach Welker] said, ‘We’re so excited to have you, Jordyn, back. She’s gonna be a great aspect to the team when her foot is healed,’” Doherty said.

A few days later, Doherty said, she was called into Welker’s office where he told her she was removed from the team.

“There was no reason behind it. He said ‘I don’t have words. I don’t know what you want me to say,’” Doherty said.

In a phone call recorded by Doherty’s family, Doherty asked Welker why she was removed. Between long pauses, he mentioned that they didn’t see eye-to-eye on objectives and there was an issue with her attitude. His response ended with “You know, I don’t know what you want specifically on there.”

Listen below:


After competing in some anchor positions for MU, Pokladnik said, she was called into Welker’s office for end of year meetings where she learned she would no longer be on the team.

“He told me that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't try hard enough and that I wasn't a good fit for the team. You know how hard I work, you know what I came in here to do and everything you just said was not true. He had nothing to say. He basically sat there and almost nodded his head at me in agreement,” Pokladnik said.

Pokladnik said Welker told her she had a spot as a walk on, but Pokladnik declined the offer and transferred to Iowa State the following season.

Doherty and Pokladnik left the team following a decision from Welker, but Updike chose on her own to leave the team.

Updike - an All-American and one of MU’s most decorated gymnasts - walked away from the gymnastics team before her final senior season. She attempted to transfer schools after leaving the team, but Mizzou Athletics barred her request.

After she left, Welker said in interviews that Updike had “personal reasons” to leave.

“He knew why I wasn't on the team anymore. It was because I wouldn't sign that contract. That's the only reason why I wasn't there,” Updike said.

Updike said Welker attempted to have her sign a contract detailing the amount of events she would perform in during the gymnastics season. Updike could not provide KOMU 8 News with a copy of the contract.

When reflecting on their time at MU, all of the gymnast shared the same thought.

“There just has to be a change with the family aspect of it, and I don't know if he can do that,” Updike said.

Pokladnik said, “I remember a girl from my club team who was visiting Missouri for like an opportunity to go there and I remember like texting her and being like ‘Do not go there.'”

Doherty said, “To the recruits that are coming in, don’t. Don’t even try. Go somewhere you’re gonna have an amazing experience. Go somewhere where you’re gonna get that because you’re not gonna get that here, not with Shannon.”

Yzaguirre said, “I would want to find a gymnastics program with a coach that I knew truly cared about me as a person and I don't think that that is found here with Coach Welker"

KOMU 8 News reached out to Welker, Morgan Porter, Athletic Director Jim Sterk and former Athletic Director Mike Alden multiple times. They all either declined to comment or did not respond to requests.

Nick Joos, Missouri's Senior Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications, said in an email to KOMU 8 News: “Our goal is to provide the best possible student-athlete experience, and we utilize a variety of scheduled and informal opportunities to gather feedback from our student-athletes.”

KOMU 8 News reached out again for comment on specific on-the-record claims by athletes, but Joos said Mizzou Athletics wouldn't comment on anonymous allegations.

Despite being told the sources are named and on the record, Joos responded, "They are anonymous in the fact that they have not brought their concerns to the appropriate staff within the athletic department."

(Editors Note: This story was previously published with a reference to a contract involving Rachel Updike. KOMU 8 News added more information to explain the statement.)

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J'den Cox's impact felt far beyond Mizzou wrestling mat https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-s-impact-felt-far-beyond-mizzou-wrestling-mat/ https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-s-impact-felt-far-beyond-mizzou-wrestling-mat/ Olympic Sports Sun, 12 Mar 2017 1:45:11 PM Corey Miller, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter J'den Cox's impact felt far beyond Mizzou wrestling mat

COLUMBIA - You may know him as an NCAA champion and Olympic bronze medalist, but for so many young wrestlers in Columbia, J'den Cox is much more than that. He's everything a role model should be, and more.

When you ask the young members of the Columbia Wrestling Club who their favorite wrestler is, there is only one answer; J'den Cox.

Cox has been an idol to the young wrestlers in Columbia both in his performance on the mat, and his words when he visits practice.

"He didn't only talk about wrestling," third grader Beau Waldron said. "Sometimes he would talk about sportsmanship and to dream big and follow your goals."

Fourth grader Donivan Taylor said, "He's a really good wrestler. And, what's the word? He's a good role model."

Coach and former CWC wrestler Brock Davis said "Everything J'den says is gold to these kids. They see what he's done and they think they can do it too, and it's not false. They can do it too."

Cox has even inspired some of the young wrestlers to have even bigger goals.

"I would like to be better," Wyatt Belcher-Key said. "Not him. Better." 

For his former coach and current CWC head coach Mike Flanagan, J'den's impact and importance to the community and the young wrestlers of Columbia is obvious.

"A lot of these kids not only here in Columbia, but around the state aspire to be the next J'den Cox," Flanagan said. "That's a role he takes very seriously, being an ambassador for the sport and for the University, and just a great role model for these kids." 

While all of the kids in the CWC look up to one of the greatest athletes in the history of the town, Flanagan says, Cox's future role could be even bigger.

"It just seems like his purpose is bigger than that of a student-athlete," Flanagan said. "He's a very special kid. I would say he's one that comes along once in a generation. I don't think anybody really knows what that bigger purpose is yet, and what his bigger calling is yet. But we're going to find out, so we're all going to have to stay tuned."

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Missouri's Karissa Schweizer to compete in 2017 Indoor Track and Field Championships https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-s-karissa-schweizer-to-compete-in-2017-indoor-track-and-field-championships/ https://www.komu.com/news/missouri-s-karissa-schweizer-to-compete-in-2017-indoor-track-and-field-championships/ Olympic Sports Wed, 1 Mar 2017 4:39:03 PM Travis Breese, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Missouri's Karissa Schweizer to compete in 2017 Indoor Track and Field Championships

COLUMBIA - Missouri Track and Field junior Karissa Schweizer has been selected to compete in the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. Schweizer is slated to compete in the 3,000m run and the 5,000m run while making her first tournament appearance.

Schweizer has been competitive all season but has really stepped up her game as of late, which no doubt influenced her selection for the meet. She was able to take home two conference titles, in the mile run and the 3,000m run, at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships a weekend ago. Schweizer was not done there, though. She also hoisted the Cliff Harper Trophy for being the top female scorer in the event. 

This made Schweizer the first Tiger since 1989 two capture two individual titles at a conference meet. 

Schweizer will race in the 5,000m run at 8:20 p.m. CT on Friday, March 10. She will be in the blocks for the 3,000m run at 6:15 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 11. Both races will be on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App. 

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Anderson earns win 300 as Missouri defeats Vanderbilt https://www.komu.com/news/anderson-earns-win-300-as-missouri-defeats-vanderbilt/ https://www.komu.com/news/anderson-earns-win-300-as-missouri-defeats-vanderbilt/ Olympic Sports Sat, 11 Feb 2017 5:01:30 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Anderson earns win 300 as Missouri defeats Vanderbilt

COLUMBIA - Coach Kim Anderson earned victory number 300 for his career when Missouri defeated Vanderbilt 72-52 Saturday. 

The victory is the second consecutive at home for the Tigers (7-17, 2-10 SEC). It's also the largest conference win since beating Alabama 68-47 in January of 2014.

The Commodores (12-13, 6-7 SEC) led 44-43 following Redshirt Senior Nolan Cressler's layup with 12:13 left in the second half, but Vanderbilt missed all of its final 12 field goal attempts. Missouri finished the game on a 29-8 run. 

Junior Jordan Barnett led all scorers with 23 points off the bench. He also contributed nine rebounds. Sophomores Terrence Phillips, Kevin Puryear and Senior Russell Woods also scored in double figures.

The Missouri defense led the way. Vanderbilt has the SEC's best three point shooting percentage, but the Tigers limited the Commodores to just 21.4 percent shooting from behind the arc. Vanderbilt only shot 25 percent from the field in the second half.

Missouri also outrebounded Vamderbilt 43-25 and scored 21 second chance points compared to Vanderbilt's four.

The win takes the Tigers temporarily out of last place in the SEC standings. LSU plays Saturday night and with a win, Mizzou would be back in last.

"I thought this team was the least focused this team has been in shoot around all year," Anderson said after the win, "but they came out and played."

Mizzou returns to action Wednesday when the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to Columbia. The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers 68-56 earlier this season in Tuscaloosa.


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Mizzou basketball rally's for Rhyan, snaps 13 game losing streak https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-basketball-rally-s-for-rhyan-snaps-13-game-losing-streak/ https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-basketball-rally-s-for-rhyan-snaps-13-game-losing-streak/ Olympic Sports Sat, 4 Feb 2017 7:43:04 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Mizzou basketball rally's for Rhyan, snaps 13 game losing streak

COLUMBIA - Missouri basketball won for the first time since Dec. 6, defeating Arkansas 83-78 in the second "Rally for Rhyan" game Saturday.

The victory was the second in two seasons for Mizzou on "Rally for Rhyan" games; they won last year's game against Tennessee. The win Saturday ended a 13-game losing streak and is the first in conference play for the Tigers.

Rhyan Loos is the six-year old daughter of Mizzou coaching staff member Brad Loos. She is currently in a battle with pediatric cancer. The "Rally for Rhyan" games are to fundraise for further pediatric cancer research.

Attendance was listed at 11,434, the highest at Mizzou arena this season.

Mizzou (6-16, 1-9 SEC) were led in points by Jordan Barnett's 17. K.J. Walton, Kevin Puryear, and Cullen VanLeer joined him in double figures.

The 83 points scored by the Tigers was the highest total they've had since conference play started.

Mizzou got off to a hot start, scoring 47 points on 62 percent shooting in the first half. However, Arkansas made a run in the second half and hit four of their final five shots to push the Tigers. 

Arkansas (17-6, 6-4 SEC), led by former Mizzou coach Mike Anderson, won the first meeting against the Tigers in Fayetteville 92-73 on Jan. 14, but couldn't recover from their slow start. 

Mizzou travels to College Station Wednesday to face the Texas A&M Aggies. 


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Mizzou's Daniel Lewis awarded MAC Wrestler of the Week https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-s-daniel-lewis-awarded-mac-wrestler-of-the-week/ https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-s-daniel-lewis-awarded-mac-wrestler-of-the-week/ Olympic Sports Wed, 18 Jan 2017 7:26:50 PM Travis Breese, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou's Daniel Lewis awarded MAC Wrestler of the Week

COLUMBIA, Mo.-- Missouri Wrestling's Daniel Lewis earned the Mid-American Conference's Wrestler of the Week award. Lewis is the second Tiger to take home the award this season after olympian and teammate J'den Cox did so earlier this month on Jan. 4. This is Lewis' first time receiving the honor. 

Lewis' award comes on the heels of three bonus point road victories without yielding a single point to his opponents. The first was a 12-0 major decision over Austin Weigel of Buffalo on Jan. 12. Lewis was able to record two take downs in the opening period. He then went on to maintain his edge and get the final decision in his favor. 

Lewis next defeated No. 16 Joey Galasso of Cornell by way of a 17-0 technical fall. Lewis finished by defeating Devan Marry of Eastern Michigan on Jan. 15. Lewis wasted no time, scoring 10 points in the first round before eventually taking the match by a score of 12-0. 

This award adds to what has already been a career full of milestones for the 165 pound redshirt sophomore. Lewis was last years MAC Freshman of the Year coming off his fourth place finish at the 2016 NCAA Championships. Lewis is 17-2 on the season. 

Mizzou Wrestling will next be in action at the Hearnes Center on Sunday to host No. 16 Central Michigan. 

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MU Softball, Tiger Scholarship Fund receive $3.1M donation https://www.komu.com/news/mu-softball-tiger-scholarship-fund-receive-3-1m-donation/ https://www.komu.com/news/mu-softball-tiger-scholarship-fund-receive-3-1m-donation/ Olympic Sports Tue, 15 Nov 2016 5:33:50 PM Chris Gervino, KOMU 8 Sports Director and Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer MU Softball, Tiger Scholarship Fund receive $3.1M donation

COLUMBIA — The Missouri softball team wrapped up fall camp a few weeks ago, but is in the news in mid-November because of a big donation to the program.

Mizzou Athletics announced the program has received a $3.1 million estate gift with funds to be split evenly between the softball team and the Tiger Scholarship Fund.

This is the latest in a string of recent gifts to Mizzou Athletics. In the last two months, Mizzou has received about $20 million to go towards the construction of a new football facility in the south end zone of Memorial Stadium.

Coach Ehren Earleywine and the Tigers softball team begin the 2017 campaign in February, with the schedule still to be announced

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Local Scores: Sunday, October 16, 2016 https://www.komu.com/news/local-scores-sunday-october-16-2016/ https://www.komu.com/news/local-scores-sunday-october-16-2016/ Olympic Sports Sun, 16 Oct 2016 9:22:30 PM Reese Johnson, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Local Scores: Sunday, October 16, 2016

MID-MISSOURI - Here are some scores from around the area for Sunday, October 16:

Men's College Soccer:

Missouri Valley 2, Columbia College 1


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Mizzou Volleyball defeats Auburn on the road raising win streak to nine https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-volleyball-defeats-auburn-on-the-road-raising-win-streak-to-nine/ https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-volleyball-defeats-auburn-on-the-road-raising-win-streak-to-nine/ Olympic Sports Fri, 7 Oct 2016 10:52:17 PM Travis Breese, KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer Mizzou Volleyball defeats Auburn on the road raising win streak to nine

AUBURN, Ala.- Mizzou Volleyball swept the Auburn Tigers Friday night three sets to none en route to extending their win streak to nine games. Since the win streak entered into conference play in late September, Missouri is also yet to drop a set to any of its opponents.

Missouri's offense was lifted by redshirt junior Melanie Crow, 11 kills, who has recorded nine or more kills in each of the squads last three matches. Senior leader Carly Kan also found her way on to the stat sheet with nine kills and an ace. The team ammassed seven of these such aces, four in the first set, which allowed them to gain some momentum early. Freshman Andie Hanus entered the game in the third set to mark her NCAA and Mizzou debut and was able to contribute with a crucial assist.

On the other side of the ball, freshman Gwyn Jones did all she could for Auburn by matching Crow with eleven kills. Junior Macy Reece also totalled a match leading three blocks. Missouri was able to find the hardwood more than enough though and Auburn falls to 8-10 for the season.

Missouri will meet the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Hearnes Center on Sunday with the hopes of adding another chapter to the win streak.

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Mizzou defeats Ole Miss 5-0 in SEC opener https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-defeats-ole-miss-5-0-in-sec-opener/ https://www.komu.com/news/mizzou-defeats-ole-miss-5-0-in-sec-opener/ Olympic Sports Fri, 9 Sep 2016 10:56:29 PM Travis Breese, KOMU 8 Sports Mizzou defeats Ole Miss 5-0 in SEC opener

OXFORD, Miss - Mizzou Women's Soccer made easy work of the Rebels defeating them 5-0 on the road in Oxford Friday night. It was the first SEC test for both teams on the year and marked the most goals recorded by the squad in a conference match in its brief SEC history.

While Mississippi was not able to find the back of the net, they did put up twelve shots. It was the work of sophomore keeper Kelsey Dossey (Plainfield, Ind.), two saves, that made it possible for Missouri to walk away with the win. It was the first shutout of her career.

Missouri's offense evidently shared the ball Friday night as five seperate playes found their way onto the scorecard. Amanda Shaw (Carmel, Ind.) recorded the first goal of her collegiate career in the 60th minute. Sarah Luebbert (Jefferson City, Mo.) scored her fifth goal of the season which leads the team, she also had an assist.

The Rebels fall to 4-3 on the year and will next be tested this Sunday at home against South Alabama. The Tigers improve to 5-2 and will continue their conference play against the Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, Sept 15.

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J'den Cox perseveres despite torn meniscus https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-perseveres-despite-torn-meniscus/ https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-cox-perseveres-despite-torn-meniscus/ Olympic Sports Thu, 1 Sep 2016 8:11:46 AM Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter J'den Cox perseveres despite torn meniscus

COLUMBIA - Missouri wrestler J'den Cox won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics with a torn left meniscus, but he said it was "totally worth it."

He said the suffered the injury in a practice leading up to the NCAA tournament in March - a tournament in which Cox became a 2-time NCAA champion at the 197-pound weight class.

The injury was so bad that Cox said he wasn't sure if he wanted to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Iowa City, Iowa in April. After debating whether to go, Cox eventually decided to give it a go for the Trials.

"I was telling people that I might not go to the Olympic Trials because I knew this was an issue going into the summer," Cox said, referencing his torn meniscus. "We just kind of bucked up and did what we had to do."

Still battling the torn meniscus, Cox won the Olympic Trials tournament, advancing to the 2016 World Olympic Qualifier in Mongolia to try and qualify for the Olympic team.

Not only did Cox qualify for the team, but he also won the tournament, sending him to Rio to compete in the summer games.

After winning his first two matches in Rio, Cox lost in the semi-finals to Selim Yasar of Turkey. While he said he was devastated by the loss, he knew he still had a chance to win a bronze medal for his country. 

"I was training for a gold medal. I don't think we train for anything less," Cox said. "I had already pushed myself to the limit and as far as I could go, and since I didn't get there, I was already prepared to go for what I needed and do what needed to be done."

In the bronze medal match, Cox defeated Cuba's Reineris Salas 3 to 1, getting a takedown in the final 30 seconds of the bout to secure the victory. By winning the bronze medal in the 86 kilogram weight class, Cox became the eighth Mizzou athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

"I tore it even more trying to get that takedown," Cox said of his meniscus. "But it was totally worth it."

Mizzou wrestling coach Brian Smith added, "It's the most memorable moment of my coaching career because the Olympics is the highest level. I knew that was one of his (Cox's) goals, to get to the Olympics. Seeing him win it and fighting through to get that take down was amazing."

Not many people close to Cox knew the extent of his injury. Cox's entire family went to Rio to support him, and even his great uncle, Ross Mutrux, didn't know he was hurt until after Cox won the bronze.

"We knew he had been injured after the (bronze medal) match when he was walking on to the stage to receive his award," Mutrux said. "We could tell he was limping, but we didn't know how bad it was at that point. We didn't know until we got home and he was set to be operated on."

Cox had surgery on the meniscus on Aug. 25 and is taking the next month off to rest and rehab his leg. 

"Having this month off is a blessing in disguise," Cox said. "I don't think it'll hinder any of my performances since I've had a surgery before. I'll be better than what I was before."

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J'Den's Journey: Rio https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-s-journey-rio/ https://www.komu.com/news/j-den-s-journey-rio/ Olympic Sports Thu, 18 Aug 2016 4:35:49 PM Mark Kim, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter J'Den's Journey: Rio

COLUMBIA - If J'Den Cox is on the wrestling mat in a match, you can count on at least one of his parents watching in the stands.

"Whenever he has one, if I have the ability, I'm there," J'Den's father Michael Cox said.

Michael and J'Den's mother, Cathy Cox, have been attending J'Den's meets since he was five-years-old. The early wake-up calls for weigh-ins and rides to matches wasn't special treatment from the parents. 

"For years, I did it with my older kids and J'Den was no different," Michael Cox said. 

J'Den said he appreciates his parents continuing to have a steady presence at his meets.

"I'm blessed to have good parents. I'm very grateful for them, because they didn't have to do those things. They didn't have to take time out of their day," he said.

Michael Cox believes he and his wife's presence gives J'Den a little extra motivation to compete hard.

"When he sees us there physically, I think that makes him feel good to know that 'hey, my dad or my mom or the whole family took the time out just to come watch me,'" Michael Cox said. 

The parents wanted to bring that emotional support to Rio when they found out J'Den qualified to wrestle in the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

"We just want J'Den to know how much we support him and how much we love him, how much we're there for him," Cathy Cox said.

She, her husband and other family members will be going to the Olympics in part because of donations from the Columbia community.

"For them to be in the stands means a lot to me as a person and I'll cherish it," J'Den said.

When the parents are in Rio watching J'Den wrestle, they won't be looking for too much acknowledgement from their son while he's on the mat. Both Cathy Cox and J'Den said they want wrestling to be the focus.

"I'm more than happy in that my family gets to come and see me on the biggest stage and the biggest match of my career. I mean that's a blessing, but that won't be where my mind is at during the thing," J'Den said. 

He said he looks forward to meeting up with his family once he gets off the mat.

"Just wait till the end of duals, give them hugs and show them love and tell them I'm grateful for them to be there," J'Den said.

His parents will be focused on their own role: being his number one fans.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to hold my heart in my chest the whole time he wrestles," Cathy Cox said. 

J'Den will wrestle in the 86-kg weight class on Saturday. Coverage of the meet starts at 8 a.m. on the USA Network.

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Show-Me State Games finish first round Sunday https://www.komu.com/news/show-me-state-games-finish-first-round-sunday/ https://www.komu.com/news/show-me-state-games-finish-first-round-sunday/ Olympic Sports Sun, 12 Jun 2016 4:16:00 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Show-Me State Games finish first round Sunday

COLUMBIA - The first heat of the U.S.'s largest state games will finish Sunday.

The 2016 Show-Me State Games kicked off Friday at various locations around Columbia. Competitions were held in eight different sports, including football, soccer, and basketball.

Athletes ranged from younger than 8 years old and older than 50 years old.

Many of the top Amateur Athletic Union boys and girls' basketball teams around the Midwest competed in the competition.

Southern (O'Fallon) Illinois Panthers basketball coach Cedric Cobb said the games have "really good, high-quality games in a two day's span of time."

"It's always, just great competition, awesome accommodations, and as a team, we come together real well," he added.

Cobb participated in the games during his playing days before playing at Division II Pittsburg State.

"When I was an athlete playing on the amateur level, some of the best weekends of my life were spent playing at the Show-Me State Games," he said.

The main competition will be held on July 22-24 and July 29-31.

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Columbia looks to attract more golf tournaments https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-looks-to-attract-more-golf-tournaments/ https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-looks-to-attract-more-golf-tournaments/ Olympic Sports Tue, 10 May 2016 4:57:25 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Columbia looks to attract more golf tournaments

COLUMBIA — Columbia Parks and Recreation finished renovations to the Lake of the Woods Golf Course last Friday.  

Attracting more tournaments to mid-Missouri is a major goal of these renovations.

"In the past, we've lost tournaments," Parks and Recreation Director Michael Griggs said. "We have an aged facility. ... At least we now, we're going to be in the market to go out and compete with these other golf courses because we have all of these other amenities."

Griggs is optimistic the renovations will lead to local businesses experiencing higher income because of the tournaments.

"[Golfers from out of town] are going to maybe spend more time in Columbia than just coming in to play golf," Griggs said. "Especially with the bigger tournaments, when you might have a couple hundred people playing golf, and it's a two-day tournament...now you've really got that tourism impact, and that really helps our local businesses in Columbia."

Griggs said a major challenge going forward will be fairly sharing the course with local golfers who want to shoot a casual round and setting the greens aside for tournaments. However, the idea of promoting more tournaments has already gotten the interest of local golfers.

Retired teacher Allington Jolly said he plans to enter in a tournament for the first time in his five-year golfing career.

"Last year was the first time I actually started to get a feel for the game," Jolly said. "You know you've got to be able to shoot the ball straight in order to be able to get into a tournament."

Jolly also said he is pleased with the updates, and thinks the economic value in the course is a reason he is starting to golf there more often.

Griggs said the city also plans to continue networking with golfing tournaments to bring them to Columbia.

"A lot of these tournament organizers like to move around," Griggs said. "We'd like for all them to stay in Columbia every year, but we know that's not realisitlc. If a tournament is in Springfield, we want to see if that tournament would like to come to Columbia next year. We look at the existing tournaments and try to market them and try to see if they'd like to make Columbia their site."

Griggs said some of the biggest parts of the renovations are the "unseen things," with more environmentally-friendly windows and insulation to cut down on long-term costs. 

According to the city of Columbia, the project cost $90,000. Local golfers paid for the clubhouse improvements through course improvement fees. The city considered the opinions of these golfers and people who run golf tournaments when designing the new clubhouse.

The clubhouse was built in 1995 and has seen minimal work done on it since it opened.

Some of the improvements included renovation of restrooms, removal of leaking skylights, window replacement, and upgrading the concessions area. A shelter was also added.

KOMU 8 previously reported the Lake of the Woods Golf Course added 28 new high-tech golf carts to their fleet.

The new carts have USB ports to charge electronic devices while golfing. 

Griggs said the city plans to add at least 15 acres and a driving range to the course in the future, in order to become even more competitive.

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