Redbirds Shine in First Day of Competitions
Akil Mills

Akil Mills

Feb. 14, 2014

Don Kirby Elite  | Iowa State Classic


AMES, Iowa— Multiple Redbirds hit personal-bests on Friday at the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Center and at the Don Kirby Elite meet hosted by New Mexico.

Shandel Ellis ran to a personal-best time of 24.45 in the 200-meter dash, following that race with a strong showing in the 400-meter leg of the Distance Medley Relay. The St. James, Barbados, native’s personal-best 200-meter time currently sits as the No. 2 spot on the Missouri Valley Conference leaderboard, milliseconds behind Katie Wise of Indiana State. Ellis was accompanied in the relay by Kristen Zillmer, Kaley Ummel and Haley Goers. The foursome won their respective heat with a time of 11:47.14, placing fifth overall.

Rachael Brewer narrowly missed a personal-best time in the 5,000-meter race, running a 5K time of 16:42.16. Brewer’s current best stands at 16:41.14 set at the 2013 Meyo Invitational.

Ryan Rutherford crushed his former personal-best time in the 5,000-meter race by nearly 27 seconds set at the 2013 MVC Championships, finishing Friday’s race with a 5K time of 14:10.88. The Bloomington, Ill., native’s personal-best mark currently is on the top-five list at ISU.

“The distance runners were a big highlight here,” associate head coach Jeff Bovee said. “Ryan Rutherford’s 14:10 time in the 5K is a top-four time in ISU history. It beat his personal-best by 27 seconds, but Ryan ran a really nice race, making a big breakthrough going into the Valley Championships in a couple of weeks. He is really hitting his stride. Rachael Brewer was just a second off a personal-best time in the 5K. It was a pretty solid race overall, and she bounced back well from last week in the mile”

The vaulters had a consistent performance, as Chase Pavelonis led the way for the Redbirds, vaulting to a height of 4.85m (15-11.00). Cirron Clark and Kevin Fisch were just behind Pavelonis, vaulting to a height of 4.70m (15-05.00).

In the southwest region of the U.S., Akil Mills notched a personal-best mark in the weight throw with a heave of 21.23m (69-08.00), besting his former career-high mark set in 2012 at the NCAA qualifying meet. Mills’ second-place toss came on his last throw of the night, moving him into the top-10 on the NCAA leaderboard.

Jianna Williams also hit a personal-best mark in the weight throw, capturing a seventh-place finish overall with a heave of 19.45m (63-09.75). Williams’ throw also came on her final toss of the night, two feet shy of the top-five.

Curt Jensen is set to compete tomorrow at the Don Kirby Elite meet Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.