March 1, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS - Sophomore Angela Bizzarri finished fifth in the 3,000m and moved to second on Illinois' all-time list, highlighting action for the Illini women's track and field team on day one of the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Bizzarri's time of 9 minutes, 23.02 seconds (9:23.02) provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championships and ranked her second behind Cassie Hunt on the Illini career performance list. Hunt holds the school record of 9:15.16 in the 3,000m. Bizzarri will run again tomorrow in the one mile final after placing ninth in preliminaries with a time of 4:51.96.
Freshman Jessica Penney was another bright spot for the Illini, taking fifth in the long jump with a personal-best distance of 19 feet, 6.25 inches. Other Illini day one scorers were the distance medley relay of Shannon Phelan, Briana Cunningham, Rachel Hernandez and Liz Mengyan taking sixth with a time of 11:47.87 and sophomore Alecia Beckford-Stewart placing eighth in the pentathlon with 3,557 points.
"Our young team had a learning experience today and we're going to get better and grow from it," head coach Gary Winckler said. "We'll focus on the people we got through to finals and hope to score some more points. It was nice to see Bizzarri run so well, and Penney did a nice job in the long jump."
Senior Tiara Armstrong and junior Omoye Ugiagbe both qualified for tomorrow's finals in two events. Armstrong took third in the 60m preliminaries (7.56) and eighth in the 200m preliminaries (24.72) to advance, while Ugaigbe was sixth in the 400m (55.86) and seventh in the 200m (24.68). Freshman Cheria Morgan also advanced in the 60m, taking fifth in prelims with a time of 7.63.
Senior LaNeisha Waller rounds out Illinois' finals qualifiers after taking fifth in the 60m hurdles prelim with a time of 8.37 to advance.
The Illini have totaled 12 points to stand in eighth place after six events scored out of 17. Host Minnesota leads after day one with 58 points, followed by Michigan (37), Penn State (33) and Wisconsin (32).
The Big Ten Indoor Championships will conclude tomorrow at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse beginning at noon with the start of the field events. Running events are slotted for a 1 p.m. start.
ILLINOIS BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 1 RESULTS
8. Alecia Beckford-Stewart 3,557 points
Pole Vault (FINAL)
10. Amanda Pintaro 12'3.5" (3.75m)
13. Jacqueline Ziegler 12'3.5" (3.75m)
Shot Put (FINAL)
9. Aja Evans 46'9.5"
Team Standings After Day 1 (6 events scored out of 17)
1. Minnesota 58
2. Michigan 37
3. Penn State 33
4. Wisconsin 32
6. Purdue 14
7. Indiana 13
8. Illinois 12
9. Michigan State 11
10. Ohio State 8
Q = qualified for Sunday's event final