Redbirds Dominate Early Bird Invitational
Dec. 3, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. -The Illinois State men's and women's track & field teams dominated the Early Bird Invitational, hosted by the Redbirds, Saturday, December 3 in Horton Field House.
Head coach Elvis Forde was pleased with the outcome of today's competition.
"Overall the coaching staff and I feel like we accomplished the things we wanted to accomplish today," said Forde. "I have to go back and say that the strength of our team is the throwers. Curt starting the season off with a personal-best, speaks volumes for the improvement he did from last year. Tori and Brittany also started indoors out with some great performances that they can carry and build on throughout the year. I am excited with both the men's and women's teams and if we keep the attitude we have had throughout the fall and now, we will be successful come January."
Smith and senior Tori Ziegler sparked the Redbirds' success early on in the day, finishing one-two in the women's shot put competition with marks of 54-07.25 and 47-07.00, respectively. Smith dominated the weight throw, breaking the school record set by her last season. Ziegler finished in second place with a toss of 61-07.50. Freshman Jianna Williams finished third in her college debut in the weight with a distance of 57-03.75.
The men's throwing competitions were fierce, with three Redbirds taking the top spots in the weight throw, and two of three top spots in the shot put. Sophomore Akil Mills (60-05.25), and juniors Jensen (58-09.50) and Luke Wielgopolan (58-03.75) rounded the top three in the weight throw. Jensen followed with a personal-best performance in the shot put for first place, while junior Chris McIntyre took third with a mark of 53-00.00.
The women's long jump competition ended with three Redbirds in the top five. Jen Jenkins took second for Illinois State with a mark of 18-03.25. Lita Wynne and Hilary Hobler finished the event in third and fourth place, respectively, with marks of 17-08.25 and 17-04.00. As for the women's high jump, freshman Amy Harvoth took third in her collegiate debut with a mark of 5-06.00.
Back to the track, Fabian Norgrove was the lone Redbird competing in the men's 600-meter dash, finishing in second, with a time of 1:20.77. Drake Stuedemann followed with a second-place finish in the men's 400-meter dash, posting a time of 51.66. As for the women's 400-meter dash, sophomore Shandel Ellis (59.44) and senior Alia McAfee (59.52) finished second and third, respectively.
Sade Sealy continued her dominance from a year ago, leading wire-to-wire in the women's 800-meter run to take home first place with a time of 2:17.00. Senior Jil Kerman ran a 2:18.24 to a third-place finish. In the men's 800-meter run, freshman Christopher Hamilton kicked off his career at Illinois State with a first-place finish, posting a time of 1:56.15.
Back in the field, junior Kendall Rush took second place in the women's triple jump with a distance of 36-09.75. She followed up that performance on the track with a fifth-place finish in the women's 200-meter dash with a time of 27.42.
The men's triple jump showed some tough competition with senior Tyler Knight finishing strong for the Redbirds with a jump of 49-04.50, good enough for second place. Also in the field, freshman Jake DeJaegher made his collegiate debut in the men's high jump, leaping to a third-place finish (6-05.00).
The track success continued for the men on the track as sophomore Coty Kramer (22.72) and freshman Nathan Schreiber (22.85) finished first and third in the 200-meter dash. Jon Roberts followed with a dominating performance in the men's 3,000-meter run, taking a convincing first place with a time of 8:41.90, 19 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Senior Kendric Smith highlighted the men's 60-meter hurdles, finishing first with a time of 8.21. As for the women's 60-meter hurdles, freshman Stephanie Fisher led the way for the Redbirds, taking fourth place with a time of 9.74.
Finishing the field events, the men's and women's pole vaulters showed off their strengths, as Mike Ziegler (15-06.00) and Chase Pavelonis (15-00.00) took first and second in the men's competition, and Rachelle Harbert (11-00.00) and Emily Swift (11-00.00) finished one-two in the women's event.
The Redbirds ended the day on a high note, as the women's 4x400-meter relay of McAfee, Kerkman, Ellis and Sealy took first place with a time of 3:57.42.
Both the men's and women's teams continue their indoor season after Christmas break, when they host Indiana State for a dual meet Jan. 14 in Horton Field House.
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