Redbirds Tune-Up for Valley Championships at Wisconsin

May 3, 2013

Meet Central | Meet Notes | Season Results

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams head to Madison, Wis., this weekend to compete in the Wisconsin Open, serving as one final tune-up for both squads before the Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships next weekend, May 10-12.

The Redbirds are coming off some outstanding performances at the 104th Drake Relays (April 27), which included two school records and three Drake Relays Champions. Tim Glover, Elise Sigg and Brittany Smith all earned their first-ever Drake Relays title in their respective events, while Printassia Johnson, Shandel Ellis, Kristen Zillmer and Sade Sealy broke the women's 4X400-meter relay record twice consecutively, en route to a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:38.64. As a result, the relay ranks 17th in the West Region, and 37th in the NCAA.




For the third time this season and a perfect three-for-three when competing, senior javelin thrower Glover was named the Missouri Valley Conference Co-Field Athlete of the Week (May 1) for his first-place performance at the Drake Relays (April 27), throwing 10 feet further than anyone else in the competition. His mark of 239-04 (72.94m) is still quite a ways off his personal-best, as the two-time defending NCAA National Champion holds the No. 2 mark in the nation this season.

Sigg ran herself to a Drake Relays title (April 27) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, posting a time of 10:12.64, three seconds faster than anyone else in the field and seven seconds better than her previous career-best. That time ranks her 17th in the nation and 10th in the West Region.

After a rocky start, Smith finally captured her first-ever Drake Relays (April 27) title on the last day of competition. Smith was down to her final event of her career at the relays, when she mustered a toss of 208-10 (63.66m) in the hammer, en route to winning her first title by over two feet.

The women's 4X400-meter relay broke the ISU record in the event in two-consecutive attempts, as it took a Redbird record to advance out of the prelims and into the finals.

Glover garnered his third Missouri Valley Athlete of the Week honor of the season, after his Drake Relays title this past weekend. Glover has now earned this honor in all three showings this season, as the two-time defending NCAA Champion ranks No. 2 in the nation behind 2012 Olympic Trials Champion Sam Humphreys of Texas A&M. The Redbirds have now racked up six Athlete of the Weeks honors this outdoor season, and a combined eight between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Three Illinois State track & field athletes won their first-ever Drake Relays (April 27) titles, for a total of four Redbird champions in the last two season. Glover was the first to capture a win, taking first in the javelin with a toss of 239-04 (72.94m). Smith followed the next day with her own first-place finish in the hammer throw, winning the competition by two feet with a mark of 208-10 (63.66m). That same day, Sigg ran herself to a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, setting a new season-best for the Redbirds with a time of 10:12.64, ranking her 17th in the nation.

The women's 4X400-meter relay squad of Johnson, Ellis, Zillmer and Sealy broke the Illinois State record in the event in two-consecutive attempts at the Drake Relays (April 26), as the team ran an ISU best to qualify for the finals. The time of 3:39.96 was the fourth-fastest time of the preliminary round and a full second faster than the previous Redbird record. The squad came back the following day to run even faster, posting another school record en route to a fourth-place finishing time of 3:38.64. Johnson split 56 seconds, and Ellis followed with a 54.7 split, before Zillmer split a 55.7. Sealy had the task to anchor the team, as she ran a 52.1 split.

The women's 4X1,600-meter relay at the 104th Drake Relays (April 25) ran themselves to a fifth-place finish with a time of 19:54.17, the fastest under head track & field coach Elvis Forde. Kelly McShea led tings off with a strong first-mile split of 4:55, before passing the baton off to Sigg for the second leg, which she split in 4:55. Kaley Ummel ran the third leg for the Redbirds in 5:09, before Zillmer anchored with a 4:55 mile. That time was five seconds faster than the time the squad posted last year at the relays.

Redbird 10,000-meter runners Ryan Rutherford and Kim Christensen kicked-off the 104th Drake Relays (April 25) on a high note for ISU, as both posted career-best performances on the evening. In her first-ever attempt at the distance, Christensen ran to an eighth-place finish with a time of 35:51.76. She went through the first 5,000-meters in 18:12, only to run a 17:39 negative split the second half of the race. Rutherford sat in the chase pack the majority of the race, running through the first half in 15:02, before running down the majority of the field the last 5,000-meters to a third-place finish with a time of 29:51.66.

CJ Hamilton continues to shave time off his 800-meter time, running a 1:52.62 at the Benedictine Twilight Invitational (April 26) in Lisle, Ill. The redshirt-freshman won the event after posting a new career-best time by over a second. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.