COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 1 and No. 2 ranked shot put throwers in the country reside in Columbia, Mo. They also happen to be teammates and good friends.
"If we didn't like each other, that would be kind of weird," said Kearsten Peoples, a junior thrower for Missouri track and field.
It would be weird to not see these two at the top of the rankings. Peoples is the school record holder with a throw of 59 feet, 9.5 inches. Rushin, ranked just behind Peoples, won the SEC championship in women's shot put.
"We remember that friendship is more important than the outcome of the competition," Rushin said.
The two may both be accomplished athletes, but have varying styles. Peoples gets results through her strength, and can muscle her way to incredible numbers.
"Hitting 60 feet is my drive right now," the Ottawa, Kan. native said. "I have good training partners, a good training plan and great coach. I am just driving to get to my goals."
Rushin, from Jackson, Mo., uses her athleticism. As explained by MU head track coach Brett Halter, developing a consistent technique with the junior's body is the key for the SEC scholar athlete.
"It's been a huge goal of mine to get to where Kearsten's been since she's got here," Rushin explained. "And to almost be at that level, I'm super excited and I want to keep climbing."
Halter, who has seen his fair share of great throwers at Mizzou, said he feels blessed to coach two talented throwers on the women's side.
"It kind of harkens back to the days of (Christian) Cantwell and (Russ) Bell--two guys who were really dominating when they were in school in the early 2000's," Halter said. "Never thought in a million years history would repeat itself. And this is just real exciting and thrilling."
But to match their legacy, Rushin and Peoples need the NCAA championship hardware. But they will have each other cheering, and competing right next to them.
""We are able to get each other through the tough times or when a practice isn't going well, " Rushin explains. "Or when we fail on a bench press, she's there to say, 'Hey, that's just today, you can get it tomorrow.'"
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