Redbirds Head to Purdue for Boilermaker Invitational
Feb. 17, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men’s and women’s track & field team hits the road this weekend, as part of the team treks to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the Boilermaker Invitational. This meet will serve as a final tune-up before the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships next weekend.
Head track & field coach Elvis Forde plans to use the meet as a stepping stone for the conference championships next week.
“This meet gives us a chance to evaluate some of the athletes that may have been hurt or missed a meet earlier in the season,” said Forde. “We are going to look at a few different possibilities and get ready for conference. This is a low key meet and I would like to see all our athletes come in with confidence and be ready to go.”
So far this season, the Redbirds have racked up two MVC Athlete of the Week honors (Aisha Praught and Curt Jensen) and have broken numerous records. Three weeks ago, Praught broke a 28-year-old Illinois State record in the mile, running a 4:44.40. A week later, she re-broke her own record, running a 4:41.49. Brittany Smith has successfully claimed all the top-spots in ISU history in both the weight throw and shot put, throwing a career-best 68-10.50 in the weight last week, missing an automatic NCAA qualifier by one centimeter.
The women’s 4X400-meter relay consisting of Alia McAfee, Shandel Ellis, Jordan Frey and Sade Sealy ran into the record books at the Big Meet, running a 3:43.38. Sealy also claimed the top-spot in the 400-meter dash, finishing with a time of 54.79. Rachelle Harbert vaulted an ISU-best 12-02.00 in the pole vault, tying her record set last season.
As for the men, Kendric Smith claimed two of the top-three spots in the 60-meter hurdles, running to times of 8.06 and 8.07, respectively. Mike Ziegler vaulted to the second-highest mark in Redbird history at the Indiana Relays, establishing a new career-mark of 16-00.75. Jensen threw his way into the record book, claiming two of the top-three spots in the shot put with marks of 59-08.50 and 59-05.75. Akil Mills followed suit, throwing a career-best 66-02.25 in the weight, which ranks third all-time in Illinois State history.
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