Zillmer, Sealy Pace Women to 3rd-place Finish on Final Day
May 12, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - Kristen Zillmer, Sade Sealy and CJ Hamilton ran themselves to a conference crown Sunday afternoon at Drake Stadium, as the Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams concluded action at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The women's squad finished third with 136 points, while the men's team took sixth with 71 points. The team's combined for 21 All-Valley performances and six individual event conference titles.
Sealy was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete on the women's side after winning her eighth-straight title in the 400-meter dash, while Tim Glover was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete on the men's side, the fourth of his career. That was Sealy's third time earning the award, and second time this season, as she won it at the indoor championships as well.
"It was a great day on the track for the Redbirds," head track & field coach Elvis Forde said. "We had a lot of outstanding performances, capped off with Kristen in the 1,500-meter run, CJ in the 800-meter run and Sade in the 400-meter dash. I could not be more proud of how everyone performed."
Zillmer combined for 27.5 points across her events, finishing second twice and first once, before running a leg on the third-place finishing 4X400-meter relay. The junior got the day started in the 1,500-meter run. She led the race wire-to-wire with teammate Kelly McShea, running a personal-best time of 4:27.31 for the Valley title. McShea kept pace, finishing second with a career-best time of 4:28.18.
An hour later, Zillmer found herself in the hunt for the 800-meter title. She ran to a second-place finish with a time of 2:11.15, falling just short to Indiana State's Leann Michl. She then ran the second leg on the women's 4X400-meter relay with Shandel Ellis, Jenna Combs and Sealy. The squad finished third with a time of 3:40.73.
Prior to the 4X400-meter relay, Sealy provided a lot of excitement on the track, becoming just the second person in MVC history to win her eighth-straight title in the 400-meter dash. The senior dominated the race from the gun, running a career-, Valley- and ISU-best time of 52.01 and moving to the No. 2 spot in the nation. Ellis also earned All-Valley honors in the race, finishing third with a time of 54.20. Sealy then doubled-back in the 200-meter dash, running another personal best, finishing third with a time of 23.80.
The men's 800-meter run saw Hamilton making the race honest from start to finish, earning his first conference title with a personal-best time of 1:51.30. Teammate Tyler Rippel fed off of Hamilton's performance, as he ran down the field on the home stretch to a second-place finish with a time of 1:52.20.
The women's 5,000-meter run provided even more excitement, as Elise Sigg ran down two of the top-three runners on the last two laps to finish second with a personal-best time of 16:54.03. That performance came after claiming her first Valley title in the steeplechase the night before, all while combining for 18 points at the championships.
In the men's 5,000-meter run, Ryan Rutherford posted another top-three finish, taking third in the race with a time of 14:38.22.
In the field, Brittany Smith earned another All-Valley performance with her third-place finish in the discus. She managed to muster a throw of 171-02 (52.17m) to earn that honor.
The women's distance crew combined for 76 of the team's 136 points, while the sprint crew took care of 36 points. Smith was the only Redbird to score in the field on the women's side, tallying 24 points in three events.
This concludes the regular-season for the squads. A number of Redbirds have posted times that will qualify them for the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas, May 23-25.
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