Women's Relay Team Highlights Day One of Big Meet

Feb. 10, 2012

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ALLENDALE, Mich. - Alia McAfee, Shandel Ellis, Sade Sealy and Jordan Frey of the women's 4X400-meter relay team break a school record as the Illinois State men's and women's track & field team concludes competition of day one of the Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich.

The women's 4X400-meter relay, anchored with a fast leg by Ellis, finished in first place with a time of 3:43.38, 32-hundredths of a second faster than the previous school mark. Prior to her performance in the relay, Ellis ran to a second-place finish in the 200-meter dash, establishing a new career-time of 24.67.

Head track & field coach Elvis Forde was pleased with the performances by his team.

"Overall, we had a good day," said Forde. "Our 4X400-meter relay established a new school mark, with one of the four members having limited training over the past few weeks, so I am pleased with that. For Shandel to run as aggressive as she did today shows how competitive she can be at the conference level. We need to build off the solid performances from today and carry them over into tomorrow and into the next two weeks before the MIssouri Valley Championships."

Continuing on the track, the women's 3,000-meter run saw solid performances from all the competitors. Aisha Praught continues her successful season, finishing second in the event with a new personal-best time of 9:35.03, the third fastest all-time in ISU history. Junior Elise Sigg finished 9:50.57, three seconds off her career-best, while Rachael Brewer and Ashley Kamin each bettered their personal-bests by more than 10 seconds, running 10:01.54 and 10:11.63, respectively.

In the field, Brittany Smith continued bettering her weight throw mark, this time missing the automatic NCAA Championship qualifying mark by one centimeter. Her distance of 68-10.50 improves her personal-best and school-record by five inches. Curt Jensen added almost a foot to his shot put personal-best, throwing 59-08.50, the second-best in Redbird history. Akil Mills rounded out the top performances for the throwers, launching the weight 66-02.25 for third all-time on the ISU performance list.

The Redbirds are back in action Saturday, Feb. 11, for day two of the Big Meet. The meet starts at 10 a.m.

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