Springer Leads `Birds in Chilly Conditions at SEMO Gatorade Classic
Samantha Springer
Samantha Springer

April 7, 2007


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Sophomore Samantha Springer finished in the top three in three throwing events, leading the Illinois State track and field team at the SEMO Gatorade Classic Saturday in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Despite the cold and windy conditions that caused delays and cancellations across the Midwest, Springer and the `Birds were able to record 24 combined first and second place finishes at the Abe Stuber Track and Field Complex.

Head coach Elvis Forde was pleased with the performance displayed by the Redbirds, taking into consideration the windy and cold elements.

"We came out and had a pretty good performance despite the weather," said Forde. "I think we had a great amount of effort from our athletes. Looking back, I can't say enough about our athletes and how they have been performing in training and it is a good sign as we continue to prepare for the conference championships."

Springer recorded her best finishes in the discus and hammer throws, placing in second in each event. In the discus throw, Springer threw a distance of 151-08 feet, while posting a throw of 169-01 feet in the hammer throw. The Tremont, Ill., native also finished the shot put in third with a throw of 41-00.50 ft.

The women's sprinting core also had solid performances, with Devon Williams placing first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.15 seconds. Melissa Clarke (12.41) and Kyndra Curtin (12.53) also ran in the 100-meter dash, finishing second and third, respectively. Clarke and Curtin also ran in the 200-meter dash, with Clarke winning the race with a season-best time of 25.01 sec and Curtin placing fifth in 25.94.

Junior Anna Lovell posted two second place finishes, running the 400-meters in 57.24 seconds and recording a jump of 17-08.25 in the long jump. Senior Lyn Cox finished third in the 400-meters, clocking in at 57.29 sec.



In the distance events, Sophomore Kim Smudde won the women's 800-meter run, besting the competition with a time of 2:17.11. Sophomore Kathleen Thompson also placed ninth in the 1,500-meters (5:00.16).

Freshman Tiffany Harris finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking in at 15.21, while teammate Frannie Epps ended the event in fourth with a time of 15.32. Harris also recorded a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (1:08.32). In the pole vault, Kristin Brinkman finished first with a jump of 11-00.00 feet.

On the men's side, junior Kelley Anderson finished second in the 100-meter dash (10.99 sec.) and placed fifth in the 200-meter dash (22.55). In the 400-meter dash, DeAndre Tillman (50.06) placed second and Maxwell Mkwezalamba (50.65) finished fourth.

In the men's distance events, Geoff Houtman and Mike Richardson highlighted the day, with Houtman finishing first in the 800-meter run and recording a time of 1:56.99, while Richardson won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:34.60. Freshman Rob Barkulis placed third in the 1,500-meter run, clocking in at 4:05.84

Sophomore Carl Azab won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 56.59 seconds.

The throwing group had five top-four finishes, with Blake Gish placing second in the shot put with a distance of 49-08.25 ft. Nick Chumbley also finished in second place, throwing a distance of 148-07 feet in the discus throw. In the javelin throw, Darren Price placed third with a throw of 152-00 ft.

Sophomore Samuel Watts finished the long jump in second place, recording a jump of 23-01.75 ft. Junior Alex Straughn won the high jump (6-05.00 ft.), while teammate TJ Fakehinde finished in second with a jump of 6-03.25 ft.

The women's 4x100-meter relay (47.06) and 4x400-meter relay (3:54.46) teams finished both races in first place, while the men's 4x100-meter relay (41.91) and 4x400-meter relay (3:21.28) finished each race in second.

The Redbirds also had four members compete at the Big Blue Classic on Friday night, with Scott Krapf winning the men's 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:33.22. Freshman Jordan Anderson also ran in the event, finishing two spots behind Krapf with a time of 31:42.91. In the women's 10,000-meter run, freshman Kim Ebbesen placed second (37:48.92), while sophomore Natalie Scatena finished in third (39:45.21) at O'Brien Stadium in Charleston, Ill.

The Redbirds will be back in action next weekend, competing at the Jim Duncan Invitational on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.