March 2, 2008
MINNEAPOLIS - Senior Tiara Armstrong won the 60m dash and placed third in the 200m for the Illinois women's track and field team in the final day of competition at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse on Sunday.
Armstrong crossed the finish line in 7.41 seconds in the 60m, which was both a personal-best and an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. She edged out Michigan's Tiffany Ofili for the title, who finished in 7.42 to take second place. In the 200m, Armstrong timed 24.47 to finish third and bring her individual total to 16 points scored toward the Illini's team score.
Illinois finished sixth at the conference championships with 47 points. Minnesota won the team title with 136 points and was followed by Michigan (128), Penn State (121) and Wisconsin (69.5) in the top four.
"Tiara competed very, very will," head coach Gary Winckler said. "To win the 60m and get third in the 200m is a great day for her. As a team, we pretty much accomplished what we could expect out of the day. This meet was a learnineg experience for our young team, and now we're going to start getting ready for the outdoor season."
Angela Bizzarri, who took fifth in the 3,000m on Saturday, also placed fifth in the mile with a time of 4:47.76 in one of the meet's most competitive races. The top seven finishers all hit NCAA provisional qualifying times, including Bizzarri. The sophomore has a strong chance of competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships, owning a season-best mile time of 4:41.91.
Omoye Ugiagbe joined Armstrong and Bizzarri in scoring in two events. The junior placed fifth in the 400m for the third consecutive year, running 55.47. Ugiagbe also took eighth in the 200m in 24.87.
Senior LaNeisha Waller, who won the Big Ten 60m hurdles title in 2006, finished fifth with a time of 8.42. Freshman Melissa Bates was ninth in the triple jump (39 feet, 7.25 inches), while the Illini 4x400m relay of Armstrong, Bates, Ugiagbe and Briana Cunningham was eighth (3:51.50).
Illinois will send its athletes with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships to the Iowa State Last Chance meet in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, March 8.
ILLINOIS BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 2 RESULTS
3. Tiara Armstrong 24.47
8. Omoye Ugaigbe 24.87
5. Omoye Ugiagbe 55.47
5. Angela Bizzarri 4:47.76
5. LaNeisha Waller 8.42
12. Alecia Beckford-Stewart 5'5.25"
Final Team Standings
1. Minnesota 136
2. Michigan 128
3. Penn State 121
4. Wisconsin 69.5
5. Iowa 60
6. Illinois 47
7. Purdue 40
8. Michigan State 35
9. Indiana 33.5
10. Ohio State 32