Zillmer Takes Home Steeeplechase Title Day Two of MVC's
Kevin Fisch photo by Jake Haines
Kevin Fisch photo by Jake Haines

May 17, 2014

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CARBONDALE, Ill.Kristen Zillmer and Kelly McShea continue Illinois State’s steeplechase dominance, as the duo takes first and third, respectively, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on day two of the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.

Zillmer ran a season-best time of 10:10.72 to finish first with a MVC meet record, breaking the former meet record of 10:23.70. McShea clocked a steeplechase time of 10:21.93, also breaking the former meet record. Zillmer’s victory marked the fourth-straight year a Redbird has won the Missouri Valley Conference steeplechase title, earning her second first-place medal in the event at the championships. Her time this evening currently sits as the No. 21 best time in the nation. 

“Seeing Zillmer go out on a conference championship in her favorite race and win it, makes me very happy for her,” head track and field coach Elvis Forde said. “I think the young lady from Southern Illinois really gave her a battle, and I think sometimes when you really want something, you reach down deep and fight for it. Kelly also came back in that last 100-meters. She fought, and that really helped us.”

Curt Jensen finished with All-Valley honors in the shot put, as he captured a second-place finish in the event with a best throw of 19.62 meters (64-04.50) in the fifth round. Jensen led through the fourth round with a throw of 19.40 meters, but in the fifth round, defending Valley champion Josh Freeman of Southern Illinois tossed a mark of 19.62 meters. Freeman solidified his victory by throwing a mark of 19.86 meters (65-02.00) in the sixth and final round, as Jensen fouled on his final attempt.

Also in the ring, Jianna Williams finished fourth in the field with a best mark of 14.72 meters (48-03.50). Williams opened up with a throw of 14.52 meters and could not better that mark until the sixth and final throw, which boosted her to a fourth-place finish.

Kevin Fisch had a personal-best day, as he finished third to earn All-Valley honors in the decathlon. Fisch bettered his season-best in the decathlon by 330 points, finishing today’s events with a total of 6,601 points. He made his biggest improvement in the javelin, as the junior tossed a mark of 57.83 meters (189-09) to better his former best by nearly 16-feet. He will look for another All-Valley nod tomorrow, as he competes in the men’s pole vault competition in the afternoon.

“I think the person that really made it happen for us today was Kevin,” Forde said. “Going into the events he was right around the top-eight, but he got better and better with each event. He was just steady until he hit the javelin, which is when he had a huge mark that moved him up to third. It was a big plus for him, and it gave him some confidence. I think once that happened he knew he could be an All-Conference performer.”

Three Redbird men advanced to the 400-meter finals, as Anderson Devonish, Fabian Norgrove and Antonio Farley will look to finish in the top-eight tomorrow afternoon. Shandel Ellis and Sarah Mussallem also advanced to the 400-meter finals, as Ellis clocked a time of 54.77 to finish second overall, and Mussallem ran to a personal-best time of 56.24 to finish in the sixth slot.

Deshaun Jordan was the only Redbird to advance in the men’s 100-meter finals, taking the last spot in the field with a time of 10.95, while Jenna Combs advanced to the 400-meter hurdle finals, as she ran to a personal-best time of 1:01.38.

Tomorrow’s field events are slated for a 12 p.m., start time, as freshman Cirron Clark will look for his first All-Valley accolade in the men’s triple jump. The 4x100-meter relays will be the first events on the track and are set for a 1 p.m., start time.

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