Track and Field Finishes in Third, Fourth at SIU Spring Classic
Sophomore Samantha Springer finished in third place in the shot put at the SIU Spring Classic
Sophomore Samantha Springer finished in third place in the shot put at the SIU Spring Classic

March 24, 2007


CARBONDALE, Ill. - Sophomore Samantha Springer scored points in three individual throwing events and Maxwell Mkwezalamba and DeAndre Tillman each recorded points in two sprint events a piece, as the trio led the Illinois State track and field team at the SIU Spring Classic Saturday at Lew Hartzog Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. Backed by Springer's performance, the women's team finished the meet in third place (100.50 points), while Mkwezalamba and Tillman paced the men's squad to a fourth place finish with 71.50 points.

After opening up their outdoor slate on Saturday, head coach Elvis Forde felt the `Birds showed a lot of effort throughout the meet.

"I thought our kids had a pretty good day," said Forde. "The weather was nice and warm, so our athletes had to make some adjustments. But I am very happy with the total team effort from both the men's and women's teams. I am also excited with the results and I am looking forward to building off the performances we had during our first outdoor meet."

In the team standings, Indiana State swept both the men's and women's meets. On the women's side, the Sycamores finished with 122 points, while host Southern Illinois placed second with 110.50 points. Following Illinois State, Marquette finished in fourth place and Missouri State placed fifth. The Sycamores finished with 142 points in the men's meet, while in-state rival Illinois finished in second place (118.50). Southern Illinois placed third, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee finished in fifth.

Springer posted her best finish (third place) in the shot put, throwing a distance of 42-02.75 feet. The Tremont, Ill., native also finished in fourth in the hammer throw (165-01 ft.) and seventh in the discus throw (130-10 ft.). The women's team also saw strong performances from juniors Anna Lovell and Devon Williams. Lovell took first in the 200-meter dash (24.99 seconds), while Williams finished in sixth with a time of 25.51 seconds. The junior duo also recorded points in the 100-meter dash, as Williams placed second (12.17 sec.) and Lovell finished in fourth (12.21 sec.).



Williams and Lovell also teamed up with sophomore Brianna Officer and senior Lyn Cox in two relay events. In the 4x100-meter relay, the foursome finished in second place with a time of 47.11 seconds, while they placed third (3:50.04) in the 4x400-meter relay.

Sophomore Kim Smudde took home individual honors in the 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2:15.73. In the 400-meter dash, Cox finished in second place (57.51) and Officer placed fifth (58.04). Sophomore Kristin Brinkman finished the pole vault in fourth place, with a jump of 10-11.75 feet.

Sophomore Kathleen Thompson ran the women's 5,000-meters, placing second with a time of 17:48.57.

On the men's side, Mkwezalamba and Tillman each scored points in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. Mkwezalamba finished in fourth in the 200-meter dash (22.46), while Tillman placed fifth with a time of 22.74 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, Tillman finished in fourth with a time of 48.24 and Mkwezalamba finished with a time of 48.62 seconds (eighth place).

In the 5,000-meters, freshmen Scott Krapf and Jordan Anderson each recorded personal-best times. Krapf finished with a time of 15:10.52 (fifth place) and Anderson clocked in at 15:11.38 (sixth). Randall Robbins finished in second place (6-04.75 ft.) in the high jump, while teammate TJ Fakehinde placed sixth with a jump of 6-02.75 ft.

Mkwezalamba joined Kelley Anderson, who finished in second in the 100-meter dash (11.31), Samuel Watts and Luke Heinrichs in the men's 4x100-meter relay. The group finished the race in fourth, recording a time of 41.94 seconds. In the 4x400-meter relay, Mkwezalamba, Tillman, Robbins and Geoff Houtman also finished in fourth place, clocking in at 3:14.10.

The Redbirds will be back in action on April 7, when they compete at the Southeast Missouri State Gatorade Classic in Cape Girardeau, Mo.