Twenty-eight-year-old Record Falls on Day One of Indiana Relays
Kendric Smith
Kendric Smith

Jan. 27, 2012


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior Aisha Praught highlighted day one of competition at the Indiana Relays as the men's and women's track & field teams finished with some of the top performances on the day, as they head into day two at Gladstein Fieldhouse.

Praught ran a 4:44.40 mile, breaking a 28-year-old ISU record set by Wendy VanMierlo in 1984 by almost a second (4:45.36). This is a new career-best for Praught and was the third-fastest mile time on the day.

Head track & field coach Elvis Forde was pleased with Praught's performance.

"It was evident that Aisha entered the day with a mission," said Forde. "She executed that race well and it speaks volumes to her commitment to the sport. She is at a good level right now and it will continue to get better. For her to break a 28-year-old record is something special, and she has worked hard for it."

Jil Kerkman also finished the day strong as she ran a 1:35.10 in the 600-meter run, placing fourth and setting a new personal-best. Shandel Ellis improved her career-best in the 200-meter dash, finishing with a time of 25.52. Kristen Zillmer set a personal-mark in the 3,000-meter run, finishing with a time of 10:06.00, good enough for sixth place. The women's distance medley relay of Praught, Alia McAfee, Kerkman and Zillmer ended the day for the women on the track. The relay ran to a third-place finish (11:55.03), edging out the fourth-place finisher Indiana State by five seconds.

As for the men on the track, Kendric Smith was the lone Redbird to qualify for the 60-meter hurdle finals with a time of 8.27, which will take place tomorrow. Andrew Sandoval was another ISU runner to set a new personal-best, this coming in the 3,000-meter run where he posted a time of 8:46.94. Mat Smoody was the last track competitor to set a new career-mark on the day, finishing the 600-meter run with a time of 1:21.41, which placed him fifth in the event. The men's distance medley relay consisting of Jon Roberts, Javar Cruz, Griffin Nykaza and Sandoval ended the track events on the day, finishing with a time of 10:26.95.



In the field, Mike Ziegler crushed his personal-best in the pole vault, setting a tone for the field events to come. His mark of 16-00.75 is the second-highest mark in ISU history and landed him in fourth place on the day.

"Overall it was a rocky day," said Forde. "We got a lot of people back on the track and it was good for them to get their feet wet again. Heading into tomorrow, we expect good things with both the men's and women's 400-meter dash, throws and ending the day with the 4X400-meter relay. Its a work in progress and they have to come ready to compete."

Day two of the Indiana Relays starts tomorrow with the with women's weight throw invitational at 10 a.m. EST. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.