Freshman Shines on Mizzou Track and Field Team

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COLUMBIA -- Missouri's Kearsten Peoples won the Big 12 Discus Championship and set a school record in the process. For most that would cap off a fantastic Freshman season but for people it's just the first step on what looks like a record setting career.

For most college students summer is for relaxation but People doesn't have much time off.

"I have three to juggle and I hope to do the best at all of them," said Peoples. "I don't know how I'm going to manage that yet."

Try juggling an eight pound eight ounce shot put along with a discus and hammer throw. That's what Peoples will do at the NCAA Championships.

Coach Brett Halter said, "Her shot put is pretty remarkable for her age... being ranked top 30 in the world right now."

She's only a freshman but owns the Missouri school record in the shot. Peoples is the first Tiger Freshman to earn a trip to the Olympic Trials since Christian Cantwell.

"He's a good person... a great athlete. He's kind of an inspiration to me," Peoples said.

"She is possibly the female equivalent," Halter said, "Kearsten is her own person doing her own things. You can certainly draw some parrallells there."

"He's so great at what he does and for people to compare me to him is just exciting because I would love to follow in his footsteps and be as successful as he is," Peoples said.

It hasn't always come easy. During her senior year in high school Peoples moved out of the home she lived in with her mom.

 "I know it was pretty challenging and it's enough to make most people....I know I shouldn't get emotional about it... but cry," Halter said.

Peoples said, "There's no reason for me to be mad about it because I had the people that helped me and supported me when I needed them."

The support came from Cliff and Emily McCollough who welcomed peoples into their home.

"I moved in with my basketball coach," Peoples said. "I was really close to them and babysat for their family and it was just for the 7 months before I got to come here."

"Most people take a lot of things for granted and so, when this kid goes home for Christmas...she doesn't go home," said Halter.

But she's found a home at Mizzou and Peoples plans on more people knowing her name.

Halter said, "Oh, there's no question, watch out for Kearsten Peoples. Her name is going to be all over the headlines for quite a long time."

Peoples is the first Mizzou thrower to qualify for the NCAA Championships in three different events since russ bell did it about a decade ago.