Glover Punches Ticket to Nationals, Smith Adds Shot Put
May 25, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas - Tim Glover punched his ticket to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and Brittany Smith added the shot put to her competition schedule, as the Illinois State men's and No. 25-ranked women's track & field teams concluded action at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium Saturday evening.
As a team, the Redbirds will send four student-athletes to the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Glover and Smith will anchor the crew, having been there before, while Sealy and Zillmer will be making their debut in their respective events.
Head track & field coach Elvis Forde couldn't have been more proud of how the crew performed this weekend.
"Anytime you come to a NCAA meet, it is one of the most exciting times of the season," Forde said. "All we ask is that our atheltes put out the best effort they can on the weekend, and in some cases it can produce some pain, and in several cases you get to see the joy and satisfaction from all the hard work."
In the field, it only took Glover two throws in the javelin to solidify his ticket, throwing 245-04 (74.78m) on his first attempt before following with a season-best 258-00 (78.65m) on his second. He passed his next four throws, finishing the competition in second behind Sam Humphreys of Texas A&M (268-08 / 81.90m). Glover has qualified for his fourth-straight NCAA Outdoor Championship, and is the two-time defending national champion in the event.
"There are some big expectations for Tim this season, as he contends for his third-straight NCAA title in the javelin," Forde said. "As his career comes to a close, it is nice to see how far he has come over the course of his tenure at ISU and watch him try to accomplish something that a lot of people can't say they have done."
Smith was next, qualifying in her second event. After a disappointing day in the discus yesterday, Smith took the shot put with renewed spirits. She opened the competition with a throw of 54-01.00 (16.51m), only to improve to 54-08.00 (16.66m) on her second attempt to qualify for the finals. Sitting in fifth place on her first attempt of the finals, Smith failed to improve upon her previous mark and decided to pass her last two attempts, finishing sixth. She is the defending NCAA runner-up in both the shot put and hammer throw, and will compete in both this year as well.
"Brittany has come a long way since the beginning of her career," Forde said. "Sometimes we take it for granted just how good she is, and to qualify for two events is something special. I look forward to seeing what she can do in Eugene in two weeks."
Prior to the start of both of those events, Akil Mills finally got his taste of West Region action after a long day of weather delays yesterday. Mills kicked off his hammer throw competition with a mark of 58.82m. He bettered that mark on his second attempt to 202-00 (61.56m), before fouling his last attempt. That mark was slightly shorter than the 203-02 it took to make it to the finals, and ended his competition in 20th place.
The Redbirds closed the regional meet with the women's 4X400-meter relay, running in a heat against some of the top teams in the nation, including Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M. The relay of Printassia Johnson, Shandel Ellis, Kristen Zillmer and Sade Sealy entered the competition with a school-record time of 3:38.64, which ranked seventh in their heat. Faced with a tough task, the quartet managed to run a time of 3:41.72 for seventh place in their heat.
Illinois State returns to the track June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., for the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Fans wishing to follow that action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC.
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