Sealy, Zillmer Solidify Spots at the NCAA Championships
May 24, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Sade Sealy and Kristen Zillmer qualified for their first-ever NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship late Friday evening, as the Illinois State men's and No. 25-ranked women's track & field teams fought through a weather delay at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the 2013 NCAA West Region Preliminary Round hosted by Texas.
After a period of strong storms and heavy rains, action resumed promptly at 8 p.m. to finish out the women's discus competition and start all the running events. Sealy was first up for the Redbirds in the 400-meter quarterfinals. The senior went out hard the first 200-meters, only to maintain the last 200-meters and edge out Chizoba Okodogbe for the third automatic qualifying spot in the second heat with a time of 53.24.
Almost three hours later, the women's distance trio of Kelly McShea, Elise Sigg and Zillmer took to the track for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Zillmer was first to go, running a career-best time of 10:04.51 to grab the third automatic qualifying spot of the second heat. McShea and Sigg followed in the third heat, where things got interesting.
Sigg lost a shoe on lap three of the seven-lap race, closing the race wearing just one spike where she ran a time of 10:31.91. McShea ran tough with the main pack the entire race, only to finish fourth in the heat with a personal-best time of 10:10.59, six seconds better than her previous best. With the format of the top three in each heat and then the three next fastest times advancing, both Sigg and McShea missed qualifying, with McShea missing out by just 76-hundreths of a second.
The weather delay forced the men's hammer competition to be canceled for the day, and has been moved to a 10 a.m. start, Saturday, May 25, where Akil Mills will attempt to qualify for another NCAA Championship appearance. Brittany Smith was the only other Redbird to compete on the day, finishing 26th in the discus throw with a mark of 156-05 (47.69m).
Two-time defending NCAA National Champion Tim Glover is slated to make his preliminary round debut in the javelin at 12 p.m., with Smith to follow in the shot put competition at 6 p.m. The women's 4X400-meter relay consisting of Shandel Ellis, Printassia Johnson, Sealy and Zillmer is slated to close out the meet for ISU at 9:25 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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