Redbirds Capture Personal-Bests, Wrap Up Weekend Meets
Shandel Ellis
Shandel Ellis

Feb. 15, 2014

Iowa State Classic | Don Kirby Elite 

AMES, Iowa—The Illinois State men’s and women’s track and field teams shined Saturday at both the Don Kirby Elite meet in Albuquerque, N.M., and at the Iowa State Classic, as multiple Redbirds captured personal-bests.

As the only Redbird competing Saturday at the Don Kirby Elite meet, Curt Jensen had the best shot put series of his season, finishing with a heave of 19.65m (64-05.75). Jensen’s tosses progressively improved throughout the competition, solidifying a second-place finish overall right behind first-place Kole Weldon of Texas Tech who won with an impressive throw of 19.76m (64-10.00).

The 3,000-meter race highlighted the day for the Redbird men at the Iowa State Classic, as Dave Eckhart crushed his former season-best by 22 seconds, finishing with a 3K time 8:16.81. Sean Senf and Tyler Morse also notched personal-bests in the 3K with times of 8:24.70 and 8:25.56, respectively.  Senf bested his former 3K PR by nearly 11 seconds.

“It was a really good day for the Redbirds,” associate head coach Jeff Bovee said. “There were a lot of seasonal-bests and personal-bests. The meet was certainly highlighted by the long sprinters, the middle distance runners and the distance runners. The biggest moment for us today was the men’s 3K. Dave Eckhart ran an 8:16 in only the second 3K of his college career. It was a huge PR from the first time out. Sean Senf had an 11-second personal-best and Morse also had a two-second PR. So, all of those guys were just outstanding.”



In the men’s 1,000-meter race, Ryan Bybee beat his season-best by one second, finishing with a time of 2:30.13. Aidan Askin did not finish the race due to a spike injury.

Anderson Devonish continues to improve his 400-meter time, finishing third overall with a personal-best time of 48.20. Devonish currently sits at the No. 2 spot on the Missouri Valley Conference leaderboard.

Shandel Ellis also continues to improve week-by-week in the 400-meter, notching a personal-best time of 54.93 to finish eighth overall. Ellis currently has the third best time in the Valley.

“Shandel had a really big weekend overall,” Bovee said. “She ran a great 400, and then helped the 4X400-meter relay team get a season-best 3:46. She competed in two races yesterday and two today. She is really coming around, especially being under the weather. I am just really proud of her.”

Kristen Zillmer had an impressive showing Saturday, finishing first in her heat of the mile with a career-best time of 4:50.50 to place 13th overall, besting her former season-high 5:02.51 set at Notre Dame Invitational. Zillmer currently sits in the No. 3 spot on the Valley leaderboard.

Ellis and Zillmer also competed in the 4X400-meter relay alongside Ally Christiani and Sarah Mussallem. The foursome ran to a season-best time of 3:46.65.

Kaley Ummel picked up a personal-best time in the 800-meter race, running to a time of 2:15.49 and besting her former career-best 2:16.06 set earlier this season at the Indiana State Dual.

The Redbirds are back in action Saturday Feb. 22, as the teams travel to Champaign, Ill., for the Orange and Blue Open as well as the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.