Curt Jensen Claims Shot Put Title at Drake Relays
Ryan Bybee
Ryan Bybee

April 26, 2014


DES MOINES, Iowa--Curt Jensen takes home the lone Redbird Drake Relays title of the weekend, as the senior thrower tossed 19.30 meters (63-04.00) to claim first-place in the men's shot put Saturday afternoon at the Drake Relays.

Jensen opened up with a throw of 18.65 meters and followed that up with a toss of 18.74 meters. His winning mark came on his fifth attempt, with the closest competitor Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue finishing one-foot behind him. Jensen also posted a personal-best mark in the discus, as the Colona, Ill., native notched a seventh-place mark of 54.05 meters (177-04). Jensen's personal-best throw in the shot put came last week at the Jesse Owens Classic, as he bested the Missouri Valley Conference and ISU record, tossing 20.21 meters (66-03.75). This throw still sits in the No. 2 spot on the NCAA leaderboard.

"Curt added a banner to his long list of accomplishments for his senior year, and it was definitely something special to see" head track and field coach Elvis Forde said. "He finished off the meet in good fashion because he was the last of our competitors today."

Joining Jensen in the throwing events, Akil Mills claimed a top-five finish, as he tossed a mark of 60.99 meters (200-01) in the men's hammer throw to finish fifth overall. Mills opened up with his best mark, as he could not surpass 200-feet in his remaining attempts. Also in the ring, Jianna Williams notched an eighth-place finish, posting a mark of 55.17 meters (181-00) in the women's hammer throw. 

On the track, the women's Distance Medley Relay team of Kelly McShea, Shandel Ellis, Jackie Mink and Rachael Brewer clocked a 13th-place time of 11:54.77, while the women's sprint medley relay team of Sarah Mussallem, Shandel Ellis, Ally Christiani and Kristen Zillmer raced to a time of 4:02.54.

The men's DMR team of Anderson Devonish, Antonio Farley, Fabian Norgrove and Ryan Bybee finished with a time of 3:27.51. Devonish got out to a quick start in the 200-meter leg, handing the baton to Farley. Farley and Norgrove ran solid 200- and 400-meter sprints, respectively, to keep the Redbirds on pace. Bybee closed with a strong 800-meter leg to give the team an 18th-place finish overall.

As the 105th-annual Drake relays came to a close, the sellout crowd at Drake Stadium witnessed more records fall, as the professional runners in the women's 100-meter hurdles, women's high jump and men's mile set world-leading marks.

"We got to see another round of world-class athletes today, and I think it makes the student-athletes want to work harder," Forde said. "Between the hurdles, the mile, high jump and pole vault, these events were neat to see, and our athletes got to see some great performances. Now we have our home meet coming up, and we are looking for some good performances at home."

The Redbirds are back in action May 2-3, as they will compete in their only home event of the season. Admission is free, and fans are encouraged to come watch some of the world's best track and field athletes at Redbird Track. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.

Drake Relays
Des Moines, Iowa
Drake Stadium

Sprint Medley Relay
18. Ryan Bybee, Anderson Devonish, Antonio Farley, Fabian Norgrove, 3:27.51

13. Ally Christiani, Shandel Ellis, Sarah Mussallem, Kristen Zillmer, 4:02.54

Distance Medley Relay
13. Rachael Brewer, Shandel Ellis, Kelly McShea, Jackie Mink, 11:54.77

5. Akil Mills, 200-01

8. Jianna Williams, 181-00

7. Curt Jensen, 177-04-personal best

1. Curt Jensen, 63-04.00

NH, Julia Ott