Redbirds Ready for Notre Dame, Illinois Wesleyan
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Jan. 31, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams will head across town to Illinois Wesleyan to compete in the Keck Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Shirk Center in Bloomington, Ill. In addition, selected members of both teams will travel to South Bend, Ind., for the 26th-annual Meyo Invitational beginning Friday and running through Saturday at the Loftus Center.
Notre Dame will see some of the Redbirds' top distance runners this season, as select members of the women's distance crew will compete in the 4,000-meter distance medley relay, mile and 5,000-meter run. Last weekend, four of these women broke the five-minute barrier in the mile at the Redbird Invite (Jan. 26), en route to finishing first through fourth in the event. Rachael Brewer set the pace, turning a personal-best time of 4:53.06, for first place, while Kristen Zillmer followed in second-place with a career-best time of 4:55.03. Kelly McShea (4:55.84) and Kim Christensen (4:58.88) also posted personal-bests, finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Kaley Ummel and Ashley Kamin will also compete as part of the women's distance squad at Notre Dame, taking on the middle distance events. Kamin will run in the 800- and 3,000-meter runs, while Ummel will head to the start line in the 800- and 1,000-meter runs.
As for the sprints, Sade Sealy will be the lone Redbird to make the trek to South Bend, representing the women's sprint squad. Sealy broke her own school-record in the 400-meter dash last year at the meet, finishing with a time of 54.79, which she went on to break once again later in the season with a time of 53.62.
On the men's side, Javar Cruz, Antonio Farley and Coty Kramer will take on the sprints at Notre Dame, while Tyler Rippel, Ryan Rutherford, Sean Senf and Tyler Morse will take on the distance events. Both Senf and Morse are coming off personal-best performances in the 3,000-meter run, while Morse also posted a career-best in the mile with a time of 4:16.92 at the Redbird Invite (Jan. 26).
The rest of the men's and women's squads will take its talents to the Shirk Center to take on the Illinois Wesleyan Titans, as well as a number of other teams. Senior Brittany Smith will highlight the throwing events for the Redbirds, as she will compete in the shot put and weight throw. Last week, Smith moved herself up five spots in the national rankings, after a 55-11.25 (17.05m) effort in the shot put. She still ranks No. 2 in the weight throw, after her 70-07.00 (21.51m) performance at the Redbird Open (Dec. 8).
To highlight the men's side, Kevin Fisch will be the lone sole to compete in the heptathlon, while also competing in the pole vault with fellow classmate Thomas Jean. Both Fisch and Jean broke the 15-foot height at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational (Jan. 12), ranking themselves fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Valley.
Fans wishing to follow the live action can do so via Twitter at @ISU_Track_XC and on GoRedbirds.com.
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