Redbird Women in 2nd After Day One of Valley Championships
Follow @ISURedbirds Tweet #ISUATH
Feb. 23, 2013
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The Illinois State women's track & field team sits in second place behind Wichita State (61) with 34 points, after seven All-Valley performances at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The men's squad saw one All-MVC performer, as it sits in sixth place with a total of 16.5 points.
Brittany Smith, Rachael Brewer, Kelly McShea, Ashley Kamin, Shandel Ellis, Kaley Ummel, Kristen Zillmer and Thomas Jean, tabbed All-Valley honors with top-three performances in their respective events. Kamin, Ellis, Ummel and ZIllmer earned theirs with a second-place performance in the distance medley relay, while Smith, Brewer and Jean finished second in the shot put, 3,000-meter run and pole vault, respectively. McShea took third in the 3,000-meter run, earning her All-MVC honors.
Head track & field coach Elvis Forde thought today was a good day.
"Overall, I am happy with how the day played out," Forde said. "The men competed hard over the course of the day and the women made strides to put themselves in a position to win a conference title. A lot of points need to be had tomorrow. We had a lot of qualifiers make it through to the finals and the athletes need to go in to tomorrow with the mentality that they have to finish within the top three. If they can do that it should make things interesting on the final day of the championships."
Kevin Fisch got things rolling on the day, as he was the lone Redbird to compete in the multi-events. Fisch set new personal-bests in all four of the heptathlon events he competed in, before setting a new career-mark in the pole vault, finishing tied for seventh with a clearance height of 15-09.25 (4.81m). He sits in seventh in the heptathlon with 2,799 points, with three events remaining tomorrow morning.
Jean also set a new career-best in the pole vault, clearing a height of 16-01.25 (4.91m) for second place and moving into the No. 2 spot all-time in the ISU history books.
Smith then followed up in the women's weight throw, going head-to-head with the No. 1 thrower in the nation in that of Felisha Johnson of Indiana State. After a monster foul on her first attempt, Smith managed to hit a mark of 68-08.00 (20.93m), but it wasn't enough as Johnson claimed the title with a throw of 74-00.25 (22.56m).
Then it was to the track, where the women's distance crew made an early statement. In the 3,000-meter run, Brewer stuck to the hip of All-American Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Wichita State for the majority of the race, running to a second-place finish with a career-best time of 9:38.70. McShea ran a smart race too, closing the last lap and a half hard to solidify the third spot with a personal-best time of 9:44.48. Elise Sigg wasn't too far off the pace, finishing fifth with a time of 9:58.31, just seconds off her career-best. Kim Christensen was the last Redbird to compete in the event, finishing ninth with a time of 10:18.41.
The men's 3,000-meter run followed, with two Redbirds finishing in the top eight. Ryan Rutherford was the first to cross the finishline in seventh place, posting a time of 8:32.00, before Tyler Morse followed in eighth place with a time of 8:38.57.
As for the qualifying events, Printassia Johnson ran a 7.74 in the 60- and 24.70 in the 200-meter dashes, qualifying for the finals tomorrow. Sade Sealy followed suit, running a 24.73 in the 200- and 55.56 in the 400-meter dash, also qualifying for the finals in those respective events. Zillmer was the only Redbird on the women's side to qualify for the 800-meter run finals, winning her heat with a time of 2:12.15.
On the guy''s side, Ben Sparkman ran a personal-best time of 6.90 in the 60-meter dash, qualifying by time for the finals held tomorrow. Antonio Farley and Tyler Rippel were the only others to make the finals in their events, as Farley ran a 49.29 in the 400-meter dash, and Rippel won his heat of the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.37.
The day concluded with the distance medley relays. With Wichita State putting together one of the toughest relay teams on the women's side with Tuliamuk-Bolton anchoring the mile leg, the women's squad came from last place to finish second with Ummel and Zillmer running down a lot of women throughout the 800-meter and mile legs. Zillmer's mile split of 4:51 solidified the runner-up finish for the Redbirds with a time of 11:51.97, breaking the streak of three-consecutive Valley titles in the event. As for the guys, the squad of Travis Trevizo, Javar Cruz, RIppel and Aidan Askin finished fifth with a time of 10:08.29.
The Redbirds return to action tomorrow for the final day of competition at the Valley Championships. Fans wishing to follow the live action can do so on GoRedbirs.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.