Steeplers, Smith Highlight Day Two of MVC Championships
Brittany Smith takes second in the shot put
Brittany Smith takes second in the shot put

May 11, 2013

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Elise Sigg, Kristen Zillmer and Kelly McShea finish first, second and third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Brittany Smith takes second in the shot put, as the Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams wrap-up day two of the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium Saturday evening.

"I expected nothing less from our steeplers tonight," head track & field coach Elvis Forde said. "They knew they were the three best in the conference and did exactly what they were supposed to do. They are so closely matched, that they crossed the finishline together and left it up to the computer to decide the winner."

Ranked one through three heading into this evening's race, Sigg, ZIllmer and McShea led the pack wire-to-wire, exchanging leads each lap. The trio built a manageable lead heading into the last 800-meters and coasted the rest of the way to sweep the podium for All-Valley honors. Showing their true team colors, the threesome crossed the finishline together, and let the fully automatic timing (FAT) do the judging. Just five-hundreths of a second separated the three, as Sigg earned the conference crown with a time of 10:26.87.

Smith earned another podium spot for herself today, taking second in the shot put with a season-best throw of 57-00.75 (17.38m). She exchanged leads with Indiana State's Felisha Johnson, falling just short, as Johnson took the conference crown with a throw of 57-11.00 (17.65m). This is the second All-Valley performance for Smith so far, as she has one more chance for another conference crown in the discus tomorrow.

"Brittany had a great series today in the shot put," Forde said. "Our conference is tough in the throws, and I am looking forward to seeing what she does tomorrow in the discus."

In the qualifying heats, a plethora of Redbirds advanced themselves to tomorrow's finals. The women saw Sade Sealy and Shandel Ellis advance in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, while Zillmer advanced in the 800-meter run. Jenna Combs was the only other female to qualify, taking third in her heat of the 400-meter hurdles.

On the men's side, Nathan Schreiber advanced in the 100-meter dash, while Antonio Farley qualified in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes. CJ Hamilton and Tyler Rippel finished first and second in their heat of the 800-meter run, qualifying for the finals, before Javar Cruz took the final qualifying spot in the 400-meter hurdles.

"We had a lot of qualifiers and I am excited to see what we can do tomorrow as a team," Forde said. "I expect to do well and move up the ladder on both sides. We can reach new levels and leave the championships feeling good about ourselves."

The final day of the championships begins at 12 p.m. Sunday, with the women's discus throw and triple jump. Running events begin at 1 p.m. with the women's 4X100-meter relay. Fans wishing to follow the live action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC.

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