The Cavaliers’ track and field teams will head to Columbia, Mo., this weekend for the second Virginia-Missouri Jefferson Dual. The scored event marks a return from the contemporary style of marathon, fan-isolated, track and field meets to the traditional team competition of the dual meet. Live results to the event will be available on VirginiaSports.com. Thomas Jefferson, UVA and...UM?
While every Cavalier fan knows Jefferson was the philosophical and architectural father of the University of Virginia, Jefferson’s connection to the University of Missouri is left a mystery in Hoo-ville. While the founding of UVa in 1819 manifested the third president’s vision of a unique institution for higher education, Jeffersonian ideals also led to the founding of UM.
Jefferson’s ties to the University of Missouri are slightly more ambiguous than his significance at UVa, but his contribution to UM sets the University apart from other public universities in the nation. Jefferson’s leadership in funding expeditions through the Louisiana Territories led to Missouri’s eventual statehood in 1821. In 1883, Jefferson’s family presented UM with a gift of a headstone from his grave at Monticello. This headstone is still found on the Columbia campus of UM beside a statue of Thomas Jefferson, reminding students of his vision and impact. Jefferson’s ideas continue to resonate through UM with special awards and models that UM students try to live up to throughout their course of study.The return of the Dual Meet: Virginia vs. Missouri
The dual meet, though the focal point of collegiate track for the better part of a century, was largely discontinued in the 1970s and 1980s in favor of a larger setting in which qualifying for national meets was emphasized over team-versus-team competition. Recently, there have been efforts to revive the spirit of the dual meet and the fan-centric nature of the competition.
In last season’s inaugural competition, the Cavalier women came out on top, 103-99, while the Mizzou men won, 105-97. In addition, Virginia met 11 NCAA regional qualifying marks at the event.
This season, the Cavaliers have nine NCAA regional qualifiers. Seniors Caitlin Kelly and Billie-Jo Grant have qualified in the discus, while junior Meghan Briggs and freshman Tara Karin met the mark in the javelin. On the track, sophomore Emil Heineking and senior Kevin Tschirhart have qualified in the 1500m, junior Ayla Smith will compete in both the 100m and 400m hurdles, junior Stephanie Garcia in the steeplechase and junior Trey Miller running the 5000m.
Following the dual meet, the Cavaliers will return home to host the Lou Onesty/Milton Abramson Invitational on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.