Redbirds Have a Number of Career Days at Final Home Meet
Kim Christensen
Kim Christensen

Jan. 26, 2013

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NORMAL, Ill. - A total of 14 Redbirds have set new career-marks, as the Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams concluded its final home meet of the season at Horton Field House Saturday afternoon against Kent State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Head track & field coach Elvis Forde was pleased with the performances by both teams.

"There were a lot of great performances today," Forde said. "We had a lot of people race for the first time today because they were a bit banged up earlier on in the season, and they did just what we expected. The women'sdistance crew ran well and will be a big part of our run at the conference championships. Our facility is tough to run in and to see the performances by the sprinters today, I couldn't be more excited to see what they can do when everyone is 100-percent healthy. We made great strides and will continue to improve."

The highlight of the meet was the women's mile, which featured four Redbirds breaking the five-minute barrier, en route to finishing one through four. Junior Rachael Brewer set the pace, turning in a personal-best time of 4:53.06, for first place. Classmate Kristen Zillmer followed suit, turning in a second-place time of 4:55.03, also a career-best. Freshman Kelly McShea (4:55.84) and sophomore Kim Christensen (4:58.88) also posted personal-bests, finishing third and fourth, respectively. Freshman Jackie Mink was the lone member of the women's distance crew to set a personal-best in the 800-meter run, turning in a time of 2:21.79 for fourth place.

The men's mile told a similar story as the women's did, with freshman Tyler Morse paving the way for the Redbirds in second place. His time of 4:16.92 shattered his previous best by over four seconds. Sophomore Ryan Rutherford also cut his personal-best time down, running 4:20.25 for fourth place. Each of them doubled-back to run in the 3,000-meter run, with sophomore Sean Senf, who took first place with a career-best time of 8:35.46, eight seconds faster than he ran two weeks ago in Terre Haute, Ind. Rutherford (8:43.07) and Morse (8:46.03) finished third and fourth, respectively.

In the sprints, freshman Sarah Mussallem posted a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.12, just shortly after setting a personal-best in the prelims with a time of 8.03. Junior Shandel Ellis made her 2013 debut, running to a third-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.29, while Sade Sealy finished second in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.46.

On the men's side, sophomore Javar Cruz set a career-best in the 200-meter dash, posting the fastest time for the Redbirds this season en route to his fourth-place finish with a time of 22.93.

The field events proved to be exciting as senior Brittany Smith threw together two solid series in the shot put and weight throw. On her third attempt in the weight throw, Smith mustered a toss of 67-07.50 (20.61m), which solidified her first-place finish by over four feet. She managed to carry that over into the shot put, where she turned in a season's-best performance of 55-11.25 (17.05m) for first place, moving herself up the national rankings to No. 4.

Adonis Hill, Demetri Almissis and Jessica McCaskill were the only other Redbirds to set new personal-bests on the day. Hill did his in the long jump with a leap of 21-08.25 (6.61m) for fourth place, while Almissis did his in the 200-meter dash, turning in a time of 23.64. McCaskill set hers in the 200-meter dash as well, running a time of 26.43.

The Redbirds return to action next weekend (Feb. 1-2), as the teams split in two to compete in either the Mayo Invitational at Notre Dame, or the IWU Invitational at Illinois Wesleyan. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.