Smith Finishes National Runner-up in Hammer Throw
June 5, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. - Illinois State senior thrower Brittany Smith threw herself to a second-place finish in the hammer throw, as the Redbird men’s and women’s track & field teams conclude day-one action at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field Wednesday evening.
Smith earned the ninth All-America honor of her career and third second-place finish at the NCAA Championships in two years, after throwing the second-best mark of her life at 224-09 (68.51m).
Head track & field coach Elvis Forde was pleased with Smith’s performance on the day.
“I was excited for Brittany at the start of the competition,” Forde said. “She always raises her level of performance at the championships and today was no different. However, the end was heartbreak. To come so close to winning a title and have it snatched out from under you on the second-to-last last throw is painful. I feel her pain. I hope she realizes what an outstanding career she has had at Illinois State and takes this as motivation heading into the shot put competition on Saturday.”
Smith set the tone early in the competition, opening flight two of the event with a throw of 218-03 (66.53m). She fouled her next two attempts, entering the finals in third place, after a huge throw by Kansas’ Alena Krechyk 223-10 (68.22m).
On her first throw of the finals, Smith hit a monster throw of 224-09 (68.51m), moving into first place. That throw would stand as her best on the day, after failing to improve her mark on her last two attempts. She held on to that first position all the way until the second-to-last throw of the competition, when Arizona State’s Chelsea Cassulo popped out a throw of 226-09 (69.12m), to win the event.
On the track, senior sprinter Sade Sealy made her debut at the NCAA Championships. She found herself in the second heat, with some of the top-ranked 400-meter dashers in the nation, including Ashley Spencer (Illinois), Phyllis Francis (Oregon) and Courtney Okolo (Texas). Sealy turned in a time of 53.76, good enough for sixth in her heat, but not good enough to advance to the 400-meter finals on Friday. Sealy closes her career as a Redbird as a national qualifier and eight-time MVC Champion in the 400-meter dash.
“Sade ran a good race, but sometimes, good isn’t enough, and today it wasn’t,” Forde said. “However, today doesn’t take away from the outstanding career at ISU she has had and the big expectations for her in years to come as she competes for her nation, Barbados, in the coming weeks. No disappointment from me on how she competed because she is a competitor and always leaves it out on the track.”
Action at Hayward Field continues tomorrow for the Redbirds with Kristen Zillmer making her national debut in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 7:35 p.m. The squad will be off on Friday, June 7, before returning to the track for an action packed Saturday, which includes Tim Glover attempting to three-peat in the javelin. That competition starts at 2:30 p.m., just after Smith starts the shot put competition at 2 p.m. If Zillmer advances out of the steeplechase semifinals tomorrow, she will also compete on Saturday in the finals at 4:56 p.m.
Fans wishing to follow the action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC. A complete meet schedule, broadcast schedule, heat sheets, start lists and rankings can be found on GoRedbirds.com at the track & field meet central page.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.