Redbirds Finish Strong Day One of Indiana Relays
Feb. 1, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—The Illinois State men’s and women’s track and field teams concluded day one of the Indiana Relays Friday evening with solid performances from both the track and field squads, picking up multiple personal-best times.
“All in all, we had a very good day, but we know where we need some improvements, which is the short sprints on the men’s and women’s side,” head track and field coach Elvis Forde said. “We were not as fresh as I would have liked to see us, but we are still learning, and hopefully that learning curve will move quickly for those in the short sprints. Overall, it was a good day of performance, and we had a number of runners in the Invitational events, which was exciting to watch. “
Akil Mills and Curt Jensen started the meet off strong, as Jensen tossed a mark of 18.37m in the weight throw, and Mills notched a mark of 15.35m in the shot put. Both Mills and Jensen will compete in the Invitational portion of the meet Saturday in the weight throw and shot put, respectively.
CJ Hamilton continued his success on the track, finishing third in the 600-meter Invitational race with a personal-best time of 1:19.04, one second shy of first place and two seconds shy of an Illinois State record.
Dave Eckhart bested his former season-high mile time by six seconds, finishing third with a time of 4:11.35. Right behind Eckhart was Aidan Askin, who also captured a personal-best mile time of 4:14.64 to finish fifth. Eckhart and Askin joined Ryan Bybee and Coty Kramer for the men’s Distance Medley Relay. The foursome ran a time of 10:05.32 to finish first. Their winning time currently stands as the 25th best DMR time in the nation.
Ryan Rutherford continued to drop his time in the 3,000-meter race, as he ran a personal-best time of 8:17.27 in the Invitational section, besting his former career-high mark by five seconds.
“We watched the men come back in the DMR and have a great race,” Forde said. “Aidan started them off with the 1,200-meter leg, and Coty ran the 400-meter leg. Ryan (Bybee) held his position well, and Dave finished strong at the end. I did not expect him to be that relaxed because he had already run once for the day. He ran a great leg even with fatigue, and we were really impressed with that. We also had another great performance from Ryan Rutherford, who lowered his PR again.”
Jianna Williams also continues to better her marks, as the Douglasville, Ga., native notched another personal-best throw with a toss of 19.18m to finish first overall. Williams also picked up a first-place finish in her flight in the shot put with a mark of 14.71m.
Rachael Brewer finished strong on the day, capturing a second-place finish in the 3,000-meter Invitational race with a time of 9:44.43. Brewer finished six seconds ahead of former teammate Elise Sigg who ran unattached.
Former Redbirds Sade Sealy and Fabian Norgrove also competed in the relays unattached. Sealy captured a third-place finish in the 600-meter Invitational with a time of 1:32.50, while Norgrove finished third in the 600-meter race with a time of 1:21.57.
Saturday’s track events are set to start with the women’s 400-meter race at 9:35 a.m. EST, with the field events to follow at 10 a.m. EST.
Fans can follow live action on GoRedbirds.com or on Twitter via @ISURedbirds and @ISU_Track_XC.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.