Redbirds Begin Outdoor Season with Split-Squad Competition
March 21, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - After a four-week layover from the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams will split squads to begin the 2013 outdoor season. Nine will travel to Orlando, Fla., to compete in the UCF Invite, while the rest of the team will travel to Edwardsville, Ill., for the 2013 Cougar Classic.
Among those traveling to Florida will be two-time defending NCAA champion in the javelin, Tim Glover, and the 2012 NCAA runner-up in both the hammer and shot put, Brittany Smith. Smith was the only Redbird to extend her indoor season past the Valley Championships, as she competed in her sixth-straight NCAA meet, finishing fifth in the weight throw (69-07.50 /21.22m) and sixth in the shot put (56-02.00 / 17.12m). Glover will make his 2013 debut, as he prepares to defend his titles.
Others traveling to The Sunshine State include Antonio Farley, CJ Hamilton, Tyler Rippel, Printassia Johnson, Shandel Ellis, Sade Sealy and Kristen Zillmer. Sealy is coming off her seventh-straight MVC title in the 400-meter dash combined between in the indoor and outdoor seasons, while Zillmer is coming off a record-breaking performance in the 800-meter run. Those two, along with Johnson and Ellis, will attempt to put together another strong performance in the 4X400-meter relay, as the foursome is coming off a Valley title in the event.
For the men, Hamiliton is making his 2013 debut, after being sidelined last spring and most of this year with an injury. Rippel will look to continue his stellar sophomore year, as he is coming off an All-Valley performance in the 800-meter run indoors.
NO. 9 ALL-TIME
Tim Glover enters the 2013 outdoor season as the No. 9 performer all-time in the NCAA, after throwing the javelin 268-00 (81.69m) at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships (June 7) in Des Moines, Iowa, for his second-consecutive NCAA title in the event. He opens his senior campaign at the UCF Invite, as he prepares to defend his NCAA title from a year ago. Texas A&M's Sam Humphreys has the current NCAA lead in the event after throwing 267-01 (81.40m) last weekend, still shy of Glover's career-mark of 268-00 (81.69m), that won him the national crown in 2012. No Illinois State student-athlete has ever claimed three-straight NCAA titles, as Glover was only the second to win back-to-back titles, with Tom Smith being the other, after winning the 1987 and 1988 outdoor high jump titles.
The top-eight in an event at the NCAA Championships earns a student-athlete All-America honors. Senior Brittany Smith has accomplished that feat eight times in her career as a Redbird and enters the 2013 outdoor track & field season as one of the top returners in the shot put and hammer. Smith is one of five returning All-Americans in the shot put and one of four returning in the hammer throw, as process of elimination of last year's top-eight finishers to graduation dubbs her the No. 1 returner in the event. Yet to open her outdoor campaign, the mark to beat so far this season in the hammer is 215-05 (65.66m), thrown by Ida storm of UCLA.
SEALIN' THE DEAL
Senior Sade Sealy begins her quest to make her first NCAA appearance in the 400-meter dash, as she is the most decorated sprinter to not make it to the national championships. Sealy has won seven-consecutive Valley Titles in the 400-meter dash, and looks to become the first Redbird in school history and second in MVC history to win eight-straight titles in the event, as Cheasa Gibson of Missouri State is the only person to have won eight-straight in conference history (2001-04). Sealy concluded her 2013 indoor campaign ranked 27th in the nation in the event, after posting a time of 54.14 at the Valley Championships and holds every ISU record in the 400-meter dash.
WOMEN'S DISTANCE CREW
After scoring a team-high 69 points at the indoor conference championships, the women's distance crew looks to continue a fantastic year heading into the outdoor season. The 2012-13 campaign for this squad includes a MVC team championship in cross country, including four All-Valley performances, an all-region performance in cross country, eight All-MVC performances on the track indoors, which included an individual title, and two school records. They head into the outdoor season as the most dominant group of distance runners on the women's side this year across the Valley.
COAST TO COAST
Junior Kristen Zillmer will make her outdoor debut this weekend in the 800-meter run and running a leg on the 4X400-meter relay at the UCF Invite. Zillmer finished her indoor campaign on a high note, breaking the school record in the 800-meter run, while earning three All-Valley honors. The defending MVC steeple champion will leave the east coast and head to the west coast the following weekend to run the steeple chase at the Stanford Invite, in hopes of posting a fast seed time at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round later in the season.
Fans wishing to follow the live action can do so on GoRedbirds.com and on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC.
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