Smith to Represent Redbirds at NCAA Championships
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March 7, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - After nine meets spanning three months of competition, senior Brittany Smith is the only member of the Illinois State track & field team to qualify for the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., hosted by the Razorbacks at the Randal Tyson Track Center, March 8-9.
In order to qualify for the championships, an individual must rank within the top-16 nationally in his or her respective event at the end of the regular indoor season. Smith ranks No. 8 in the weight throw and No. 7 in the shot put, with season-best marks of 70-07.00 (21.51m) and 56-09.25 (17.30m), respectively. In her time at Illinois State, the Oak Park, Ill., native has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships three-straight years, finishing as high as third in the weight throw in 2012 and third in the shot put in 2011.
2012 NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS Last year, three Redbirds made the trek out to Boise, Idaho, for the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, where Aisha Praught and Smith combined for an 18th-place team finish, as Praught took second in the mile and Smith finished third in the weight throw. As a result, both earned All-America honors for their performances. Akil Mills was the lone Redbird to compete on the men's side, where he finished 12th in the weight throw.
SECOND GO AROUND FOR SMITH
Smith's third-place finish in the weight throw at last year's championships tied her highest finish at the indoor championships, as she finished third in 2011 in the shot put. She has accumulated more All-American honors than any other female thrower in Redbird history, and her third-place finishes were the highest by any ISU thrower in program history at the indoor championships.
FIRST ON TRACK SINCE 2002 Praught's second-place finish in the mile a year ago was the highest finish on the track for any Redbird since 2002, when Christian Goy won the NCAA title in the mile. She was also the first female indoor All-American on the track since 1997, when Sue Daggett earned hers in the 5,000-meter run.
THROWERS HAVEN The Missouri Valley Conference is known to having some of the most dominant throwers in the NCAA, as the last two national champions in the weight throw and four of the last six have come from the Valley. As these throwers face off throughout the season, and at the conference championship, it paves the way for an exciting showing at the NCAA Championships.
LAST INDOOR CHAMPION The last and only NCAA Indoor Champion came in 2002, when Goy won the mile with a time of 4:00.06. The next closest Redbird becoming a national champion indoors was last year, when Praught was edged out in the mile in the last 20 meters by Lucy Van Dalen of Stonybrook by nine-hundredths of a second.
Those wishing to follow the live action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC. The meet will be broadcast live on ArkansasRazorbacks.com, Friday, March 8 at 11 a.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 12 p.m. ESPN3 will pick up the evening broadcast on both days beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday. A tape-delay of the entire championship will be aired on ESPNU March 17 at 7 p.m.
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