Four Redbirds Ready for NCAA Outdoor Championships

June 4, 2013

Illinois State Championship Central

EUGENE, Ore. - Four Illinois State track & field stars punched their tickets to Eugene, Ore., for the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 5-8, at historic Hayward Field. Tim Glover and Brittany Smith are making their fourth-straight and final appearance on the outdoor national stage, after building strong resumes during their tenure at Illinois State.

Glover is the two-time defending NCAA National Champion in the javelin and ranks in the top-10 all-time in the NCAA in the event. The senior looks to become just the third person in the history of the NCAA to win the javelin title three-straight times and the first since Patrik Boden of Texas did so from 1989-1991.

Smith enters the national meet as one of the top-ranked throwers from 2012, having posted runner-up performances in both the shot put and hammer throw. The eight-time All-American holds every ISU record in the throws, except for the discus, where she ranks second.


 

 

Joining the veteran line-up are Sade Sealy and Kristen Zillmer, who are both making their national debut. Sealy holds the No. 4 time in the nation in the 400-meter dash (52.01), after winning the Valley for the eighth-straight time, while Zillmer ran a career-best time of 10:04.51 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to qualify, which ranks third in the Illinois State history books.

Smith is the first Redbird to compete, as she throws in the hammer throw trials and finals Wednesday, June 5 at 3:30 p.m. Sealy follows in the 400-meter dash semifinals at 7 p.m. Zillmer is the only person to compete Thursday, June 6, as she toes the line in the steeplechase at 7:35 p.m. If Sealy advances from the semifinals, she would run in the 400-meter dash finals on Friday, June 7 at 7:55 p.m. Saturday, June 8, proves to be the most exciting day of action, as Glover goes for his third-straight title in the javelin at 2:30 p.m. Prior to that, Smith will compete in the shot put at 2 p.m., and if Zillmer advances out of the steeplechase semifinals on Friday, she would run in the finals at 4:57 p.m.

Fans wishing to follow the action can do so on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC. A complete meet schedule, broadcast schedule, heat sheets, start lists and rankings can be found on GoRedbirds.com at the track & field meet central page.

A LOOK AT GLOVER
Glover is making his fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and is the two-time defending national champion in the javelin. Throughout his time at Illinois State, Glover has racked up 18 first-place finishes out of the 29 meets he competed in, including four-straight wins at the MVC Championships. In 2012, he was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Field Athlete of the Year, was a semifinalist for The Bowerman Award, took home a gold medal at the NACAC Championships, was an Olympic Trials qualifier and was the first Redbird to successfully defend his national title in an event since Tom Smith won back-to-back high jump titles in 1987 and 1988.

Glover holds every Illinois State and Missouri Valley Conference record in the javelin (268-00 / 81.69m) and is the No. 10 performer of all-time in the NCAA. The two-time All-American enters the NCAA Championships ranked No. 2 behind 2012 Olympic Trials Champion Sam Humphreys of Texas A&M, and will look to become just the third person in NCAA history to win the javelin three-straight times and the first since Patrik Boden of Texas did so from 1989-1991.

A LOOK AT SEALY
Sealy is making her first-ever appearance on the national stage, after finishing ninth at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round to qualify. Sealy has won eight-straight Valley titles in the 400-meter dash, breaking the Illinois State and Missouri Valley Conference records in the event this last go around, running the fourth-fastest time in the nation of 52.01. She was just the second person in MVC history to win all eight titles and the first since Cheasa Gibson of Missouri State won eight-straight from 2001-04. Throughout her tenure as a Redbird, Sealy has won 17 of the 28 meets she ran the 400-meter dash in and holds every ISU record in the event.

A LOOK AT SMITH
The most decorated thrower in ISU history, Smith has qualified for her fourth-straight NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship, and her second-straight competing in multiple events. This year, Smith won her first Valley title in the hammer throw, just weeks after claiming the Drake Relays title in the same event.

In 2012, she posted runner-up finishes in the shot put and hammer throw at the NCAA Championships, and was an Olympic Trials qualifier. She took home a gold medal in the shot put at the NACAC Championships, only to follow with a silver in the hammer throw. She holds every ISU record in the throws except for the discus, and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District V women’s track & field team.

A LOOK AT ZILLMER
Zillmer is making her debut on the national stage, after posting a career-best time of 10:04.51 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round to qualify. The junior holds the No. 3 time in ISU history in the event, while qualifying for three regional appearances. Zillmer was the 2012 Valley Champion in the event and ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation this season.

At the 2013 MVC Championships, Zillmer scored 27.5 points, posting top-three finishes in all four events she competed in, including a Valley title in the 1,500-meter run. As a result, she helped the women’s team to its first national ranking of the season, entering NCAA West Region action at No. 25.

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