Redbird Track Opens Up Indoor Season at EIU Invite
Jianna Williams

Jianna Williams


Dec. 5, 2013

NORMAL, Ill.—The Illinois State men’s and women’s track & field teams head east to Charleston, Ill., to compete in its first event of the indoor season, the Eastern Illinois Early Bird Invite.

The meet is slated to begin at 3 p.m., with the field events, while track competition will follow at 4:10 p.m. All current race times are subject to change due to number of entries.

“The athletes in the sprints, hurdles, jumps, pole vault and throws have not had a chance to compete against anyone this fall,” head track & field coach Elvis Forde said. “However, we had something called the Turkey Trials for an intra-squad, team-bonding experience a couple of weeks ago. We had a good start with that, and therefore, we are looking for good start to the season. We will not have the distance runners there, but it will not take anything away from us, because typically that is what we do this time of the year. We give the cross country runners time to get rested.”

The men’s competition opens up with the weight throw, featuring senior standout Curt Jensen. After redshirting the 2012-13 season, Jensen looks to continue his success at ISU. The Colona, Ill., native posted 13 top-five finishes in the 2011-12 indoor season, including a first-place finish in the weight throw at the EIU Invite.



“In the throwing area, Curt redshirted last year, but he is going to do some very special things this year,” Forde said. “I will not be surprised if he breaks the school record. His goals are much bigger than the school record. He wants to make it to the NCAA Championships and be an All-American.”

The 400- meter crew of Javar Cruz, Deshaun Jordan, Antonio Farley, Coty Kramer and Fabian Norgrove look to make an impression in their first meet of the season, while defending MVC champion CJ Hamilton looks to continue his success in the 800-meter run.

“The group that is doing extremely well is Deshaun Jordan, Antonio Farley, Fabian Norgrove, Javar Cruz and Coty Kramer,” Forde said. “They have all had a good fall. I think if we can keep them healthy, they will have a great year. It will be exciting to see what happens there.  CJ (Hamilton), being the champion from last year, has been training well despite a little illness. We expect him to have a good indoor season as well.”

On the women’s side, Shandel Ellis and Sarah Mussallem will look to lead the Redbird sprinters, while newcomer Ally Christiani also looks to make an impact for the sprinting crew in her first event of the season. The meet will debut two new ISU pole vaulters, Julia Ott and Taylor Knauf.

After redshirting the 2012-13 season, Jianna Williams will compete in the throwing events for the Redbirds. Williams finished eighth at the 2011-12 Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships with a personal-best toss of 60-06.00 in the weight throw.

Fans can follow the action live on Twitter via @ISU_Track_XC. Results will be posted on immediately following the day’s events. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.