Sophomore Ashley Spencer was one of 11 to win crowns at the Illini Classic on Saturday.
Jan. 19, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- For the third year in a row, the Illinois women's track and field team won more than half of the total events, winning 11 of 16 on Saturday and took the Illini Classic title by scoring 204 points to top the other seven schools competing at the UI Armory. The Illini won by a 83-point margin as Southern Illinois placed second with 121 points.
"I was really impressed with a lot of girls from today's meet," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "I was super impressed with Colette Falsey's mile. She really paced herself well in the event. Samantha Murphy was just outstanding today in the 800m, running such a great time. We have so many people who cracked the top-10 list nationally. It was truly a well balanced effort."
Freshman Morolake Akinosun turned in another season best performance in the 60m dash, with a time of 7.38 which bumps the newcomer up to the seventh fastest time in school history. Four Illini finished in the top five of the event, including sophomore Ashley Spencer placing second (7.42). Junior Breeana Coleman won the 60m hurdles and turned in a time of 8.30, the same as last weekend, just one hundredth of a second out of the top-10 all-time while teammate Jesica Ejesieme placed runner-up in the event with a time of 8.41.
Spencer also opened up in the 200m on Saturday, an event in which she holds the school record. The sophomore won the event with a time of 23.82 while the Illini had finishers place second through fourth in the event. In the 400m, sophomore Asia Thomas notched her second victory of the season as she crossed the finish line with a time of 55.16 while Ahlivia Spencer took home the 600m crown (1:32.31), which cracked the top-10 all-time list.
The Illini had huge performances by the middle distance and distance squads as junior Samantha Murphy won the 800m in a time of 2:08.12 which is the seventh-fastest time in indoor school history and a huge personal best. In the mile, sophomore Colette Falsey ran a great race, winning the event with a personal best time of 5:02.81.
Senior Courtney Yaeger ran an amazing season opener, winning the 3,000m with a 20-second personal best time of 9:39.04. The Wheeling, W.V., native's time was .60 seconds away from breaking into the school's top-10 list in the event.
School record holder, Stephanie Richartz won the pole vault crown at the UI Armory on Saturday, jumping a season-best 13-1 3/4 (4.01m). Illinois' Marissa Golliday won the pentathlon for the second consecutive year, scoring 3,754 total points as the senior won the high jump, long jump, and 800m.
The Orange and Blue will be back in action next weekend as a select few will compete at the Indiana University Relays on Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26.
1. Illinois 204
2. Southern Illinois 121
3. Lincoln (Mo.) 68
4. Marquette 67
5. SIU-Edwardsville 62
6. Western Illinois 32
7. Western Kentucky 21
8. Bradley 17
Illinois First Place Finishers
Morolake Akinosun: 7.38
Breeana Coleman: 8.30
Ashley Spencer: 23.82
Asia Thomas: 55.16
Ahlivia Spencer: 1:32.31
Samantha Murphy: 2:08.12
Colette Falsey: 5:02.81
Courtney Yaeger: 9:39.04
Stephanie Richartz: 13-1 3/4 (4.01m)
Marissa Golliday: 3,754 points