ISU Heads to Iowa and New Mexico for Challenging Meets
Ryan Rutherford
Ryan Rutherford

Feb. 13, 2014

NORMAL, Ill.—The Illinois State men’s and women’s track and field teams head to Ames, Iowa, for the 23rd-annual Iowa State Classic Friday and Saturday at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center, while three throwers travel to Albuquerque, N.M. for the Don Kirby Elite Invite at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Over 50 teams are set to compete in the Classic, including the 2013 women’s outdoor NCAA champions Kansas, along with Georgetown, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas and Missouri Valley Conference foes Wichita State, Missouri State and Northern Iowa. Field events at the Iowa State Classic begin at 11 a.m., with running events to follow at 12 p.m.

“The expectations are high when you go to quality events like these,” head coach Elvis Forde said. “I think the Iowa State meet will be an eye-opener for some of our athletes. The field for the distance runners, especially, is going to be very good. I think our athletes on both the men’s and women’s sides are going to get to compete with some of the best in the country.”

Printassia Johnson and Sarah Mussallem kick things off for the Redbirds, as they will toe the line in the women’s 60-meter dash beginning at 12 p.m., Friday. Johnson will also contend in the 200-meter dash alongside Shandel Ellis. Ellis will also compete in the 400-meter dash this weekend after a personal-best day at the Meyo Invitational, finishing sixth in a field of 51 with a career-best and Valley leading 400-meter time of 55.50.

Julia Ott will look to lead the Redbird women pole vaulters, after finishing sixth in the Invitational section of the Meyo Invitational with a mark of 3.90m (12-09.50). Ott has already broken the school record with a vault of 4.05m (13-03.00) this indoor season and looks to continue to jump higher.

In the distance events, the Redbirds look to continue their string of quality racing, as Ryan Rutherford competes in the 5,000-meter race, after posting a personal-best 3,000-meter time of 8:17.70 at the Indiana Relays. Dave Eckhart, Tyler Morse and Sean Senf will toe the line in the 3,000-meter race.

Illinois State will look to Chase Pavelonis to lead the Redbird men in the pole vault competition. Pavelonis will be joined by Cirron Clark, Thomas Jean, Kevin Fisch and Alex Platz. Clark is coming off a personal-best weekend, vaulting to a height of 4.70m (15-05.00).

After a weekend of rest, Curt Jensen, Akil Mills and Jianna Williams will be the trio of throwers heading southwest to N.M., to compete in the weight throw and shot put competitions. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.