ISU Shines at Drake Relays Distance Carnival
Tyler Rippel
Tyler Rippel

April 25, 2013

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Ryan Rutherford and Kim Christensen shine in the 10,000-meter runs at Drake Stadium, as the Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams conclude day one of action at the 104th Drake Relays Thursday evening.

"It was a good opening day for the Redbirds," assistant track & field coach Jeff Bovee said. "We had good performances all the way around, and the 10,000-meters to end the day was fantastic. That set the bar high, heading into tomorrow."

Christensen ran the first 10,000-meter run of her life, turning in an eighth-place time of 35:51.76, in a field of 34 runners. She went through the first 5,000-meters in 18:12, only to run a 17:39 negative split the second half of the race. Rutherford sat in the chase pack the majority of his race, running through the first half in 15:02. The second half of the race he found himself running down the majority of the field to a third-place finish, as he ran a personal-best time of 29:51.66.

"The game plan was to run comfortably the first half of the race, and then to get after it the second half," Bovee said. "Both of them executed the plan very well, and I am proud of both of them. They both ran patient and closed well to end the day on a high note."

Tyler Rippel started the day off for the Redbirds in the 800-meter run. Having ran a time of 1:52.32 earlier in the year at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic (March 30), the sophomore entered the race looking to improve upon that mark. Rippel ran the first 400 meters in 54 seconds, only to split the second half of the race in 58 seconds, finishing third with a time of 1:52.58.

The women's 4X1,600-meter relay followed with Kelly McShea, Elise Sigg, Kaley Ummel and Kristen Zillmer. After a disappointing finish last year in the race, the women's distance crew ran themselves to a fifth-place finish in a school-record time of 19:54.17. McShea led things off with a strong first-mile split of 4:55 before passing the baton off to Sigg for the second leg. Sigg battled the Redbirds back into the race, running a 4:55 split of her own, before the relay exchange to Ummel with the team sitting in sixth place. Ummel split a 5:08 mile, handing the stick to Zillmer for the anchor leg. Zillmer was able to get ISU into fifth place, where they would stay, ending the race with a 4:54 mile split.

ISU returns to Drake Stadium tomorrow, April 26, for day three of the Drake Relays. Two-time defending NCAA national champion Tim Glover kicks off the day for the Redbirds in javelin at 10:45 a.m. NCAA runner-up in the shot put Brittany Smith will follow at 11:30 a.m., before throwing the discus at 2 p.m. The women's 4X400-meter relay is the only event for Illinois State on the track and will start at 2:52 p.m.

Fans wishing to follow the live action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC.

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