Jensen Impresses Again on Senior Day at Redbird Track
May 3, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. – Curt Jensen breaks his own Missouri Valley Conference and Illinois State shot put records Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Redbird Track.
Jensen’s personal-best and record-setting mark came on his fifth attempt in the shot put, as the senior thrower tossed a mark of 20.33 meters (66-08.50). The Colona, Ill., native continues to improve week-by-week, breaking his own ISU record three times alone this season. Jensen bested his mark of 20.21 meters (66-03.75) set at the Jesse Owens Classic (Apr. 19). He currently sits in the No. 3 spot on the NCAA leaderboard. Making it a memorable Senior Day, Jensen also posted a personal-best mark of 54.44 meters (178-07) in the discus to finish second behind Sean Pruitt who competed unattached and broke the meet record, throwing 54.68 meters (179-05).
“Curt had a PR in the men’s shot put, and continues to be a top competitor in the nation,” head track and field coach Elvis Forde said. “He is gaining confidence as we move into the conference meet. He wants to be a triple threat, and today he showed that, throwing a personal-best mark in the discus as well. Curt is throwing several best marks as the season goes, and all of these performances are confidence builders, as he moves to what his big goal is, which is trying to be a National Champion in the shot put, something I know he can accomplish.”
Another senior thrower who has immensely impacted the ISU track and field squad, Akil Mills had a solid performance in the hammer throw Friday evening, as he captured a third-place finish with a mark of 61.05 meters (200-03). Mills also recorded a personal-best mark in the shot put, tossing 16.66 meters (54-08.00). Both Mills and Jensen currently sit on top of the MVC best list in the hammer throw and shot put, respectively.
Senior distance runner Kristen Zillmer wrapped up her ISU home meet career with a first-place finish in the women’s 1,500-meter race, clocking a time of 4:29.26, while senior sprinter Shandel Ellis recorded season-best times of 24.36 and 54.96 in the 200- and 400-meter sprints, respectively.
Senior sprinter Fabian Norgrove also made his last home appearance a memorable one, as the St. Phillip, Barbados, native clocked a personal-best time of 47.33 in the 400-meter dash to finish first. Norgrove also stood atop of the podium in the 200-meter sprint, finishing with a personal-best time of 21.32.
Senior hurdler Jenna Combs ran to a season-best time of 1:02.51 in the women’s 400-meter hurdles to notch a first-place finish.
“It is always good to be at home,” Forde said. “I think the performances indicated that today. It was a bittersweet day because we had some good seniors that have performed at their last home meet today. I think this group of seniors has had a really good year as well, especially our two throwers, Curt and Akil. Hopefully, we can replace them as we go down the road, but the memories of these seniors will last a long time based on the day that we had.”
In the field, Cirron Clark had a personal-best day, as the freshman posted his first collegiate victory in the pole vault. Clark vaulted to a personal-best mark of 4.85 meters (15-11.00) and also notched a first-place finish in the men’s triple jump, leaping to a mark of 13.30 meters (43-07.75).
Keeping with the trend of personal-bests, Jianna Williams recorded a big personal-best in the women’s shot put, tossing a mark of 15.75 meters (51-08.25), beating her former mark by 3-feet. Williams finished second in the shot put to former Redbird Brittany Smith who competed unattached, tossing 17.55 meters (57-07.00). Williams captured another personal-best mark in the hammer throw Friday evening, heaving 57.25 meters (187-10).
In the long jump, Demetri Alimissis tied a personal-best mark of 6.92 meters (22-08.50) to notch a second-place finish.
On the track, Jackie Mink ran to a huge personal-best time of 2:11.93, besting her former 800-meter time of 2:14.17, while Ryan Rutherford clocked a personal-best 1,500-meter time of 3:52.34 to finish second in the race.
In the short sprints, Deshaun Jordan and Nathan Schreiber also clocked personal-bests in the men’s 100-meter dash, as Jordan finished with a time of 10.68 to take first, while Schreiber speeded to a personal-best time of 10.76. With these times, Jordan moves up to tie for the No. 3 spot on the MVC best list, while Schreiber sits in a tie for sixth.
The Redbirds are back in action May 16-18, as they travel to Carbondale, Ill., for the postseason and the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
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