ISU Opens 2014 Outdoor Campaign at Southern Illinois
March 27, 2014
NORMAL, Ill.—The Illinois State men’s and women’s track team heads south to Southern Illinois for the 2014 Bill Cornell Spring Invitational to open up its 2014 outdoor track and field campaign.
Events will begin on Friday at 3 p.m. with the women’s discus followed by the 10,000-meter run at 6 p.m. Saturday’s events are slated for a 9 a.m. start time with the women’s hammer throw. Running events will follow at 12:30 p.m.
“Like any sport that is outdoors right now, we are all suffering the pinch of the weather,” head coach Elvis Forde said. “It is affecting training and practices. I am going to keep my fingers crossed in that we are going a little farther south so the weather holds up and the athletes can compete. Because of the weather, our training has been up and down. So, whenever we get the opportunity, we take advantage of it. This weekend will tell us where we are and what we need to work on moving forward. Nevertheless, the elements are going to be the same for everyone this weekend. Our athletes are ready to get started and set a barometer of where they are. The couple of practices we have had I feel pretty good, but right now we have to be happy with what we have done.”
After a remarkable indoor season and All-American accolades Curt Jensen and Akil Mills will look to lead the Redbird throwing squad. Jensen finished his indoor season with an eighth-place finish in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, while Akil Mills placed sixth in the men’s weight throw to earn first-team All-American honors. Jianna Williams will represent the women throwers, as she finished the indoor season with an All-Conference nod in the weight throw, tossing a mark of 19.45m (63-09.55).
Chase Pavelonis and Julia Ott will be the go-to pole vaulters, after notching All-Conference accolades at the MVC Championships, while Aaron Kennebrew III will be the lone Redbird in the triple jump. In his first conference meet, Kennebrew finished sixth to put points on the board for the ISU squad.
In the sprints, the Redbirds will look to senior Shandel Ellis who recently earned two All-Conference awards at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in the women’s 400-meter dash and the Distance Medley Relay, while redshirt senior Fabian Norgrove returns to action in the 200- and 400-meter sprints. Anderson Devonish looks to continue his successful freshman campaign, as he opens up the outdoor season in the 400-meter dash.
“We have had some bumps in bruises in the sprints crew, but they are ready to compete,” Forde said. “We are holding some distance runners out this weekend. They have had some very good workouts, so we will wait and see what happens from there.”
Fans can follow along with @ISU_Track_XC, and results will be posted on www.GoRedbirds.com, following the conclusion of the meet.
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