Sophomore Kawanna Brooks won the long and triple jump at the Illinois Intercollegiate.
Jan. 29, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - A trio of Illini won multiple titles on Saturday at the UI Armory, as the Illinois women's track and field team dominated the Illinois Intercollegiate with a first-place finish and nine individual event titles. The Orange and Blue totaled 263 points to beat out the other seven in-state schools, including second-place Illinois State (131). Eastern Illinois (78) was third followed by DePaul (31), Western Illinois (26), SIU-Edwardsville (25.5), Bradley (20.5) and McKendree (9).
"It was a really good day across the board," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "It was the last home meet for the seniors, so it was a really big deal for them. They really pushed themselves and were able to run well in front of their family in attendance."
Senior Tamika Robinson won two more titles to keep her undefeated season alive. The Chicago, Ill., native clocked a personal-best time of 7.48 to win the event and led a group of six Illini in the finals. Senior Cheria Morgan also tallied a personal best with a 7.58 to place second followed by Kayla Smith (7.65) in third, freshman Moriyike Akinosun (7.68) in fifth and Tyler Burke (7.86) in sixth. Robinson also grabbed the top spot in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.20 while sophomore Kawanna Brooks (8.71) and senior Kelly Washington (8.85) placed second and third, respectively.
"The 60m dash was a very exciting race," Buford-Bailey said. "It was great to see a pair of seniors (Tamika and Cheria) run personal bests. I also told Moriyike that she needed to run a top-20 Big Ten mark to make our upcoming travel roster, and she stepped up and did that."
Junior Ashley Kelly picked up a pair of wins as well, winning both the 200m and 400m crowns. Kelly (24.55) paced a group three Illini atop the 200m standings as Smith (24.59) came in second followed my Morgan (24.66) in third. Four Illini runners topped the 400m list, as Kelly took first with a time of 55.08 followed by runner-up Melissa Bates (55.76), sophomore Marissa Golliday (56.70) in third and junior Ryisha Boyd (56.72) in fourth.
"Ashley had her best opener in the 400m," Buford-Bailey said. "She had an excellent meet overall and put herself in a nice position on the national list with her time."
In the horizontal jumps, Brooks earned a pair of victories, posting a leap of 18-5 (5.61m) to win the long jump and a mark of 38-9 ¾ (11.83m) to win the triple jump. In the pole vault, freshman Stephanie Richartz tied the fourth-best mark in school history, as she won the event with a height of 12-5 ½ (3.80m). Junior Kaitlin Vicari was the runner-up at 11-9 ¾ (3.60m) while sophomores Maria Scheet and Elizabeth Eitzen tied for fourth at 11-5 ¾ (3.50m).
The Illini went one-two in the 600m, as freshman Samantha Murphy ran to the title with a season-best time of 1:32.29 and junior Jayla McArthur took second at 1:33.77. Junior Latoya Griffith knocked a couple of seconds off her time from earlier this season and came in fifth at 1:35.76.
In the 800m, freshman Amanda Duvendack crossed the finish line second with a time of 2:15.97. Sophomore Amber Stack was the top Illini in the mile, finishing fifth with a time of 5:09.37. In the 3,000m, sophomore Courtney Yaeger (10:23.63) placed second followed by senior Maggie Mulchrone (10:33.99) in third.
Junior Kendall McCaugherty cleared a personal-best height of 5-9 ¼ (1.76m) in the high jump to take second while Golliday was third at 5-5 ¼ (1.66m). In the shot put, sophomore Tiffany Wallick and freshman Kristen Wilson finished third and fourth, respectively, with a mark of 42-2 ¼ (12.93m).
The 4x400m relay team of Kelly, McArthur, Boyd and Bates wrapped up the meet with Illinois' final event title, combining for a time of 3:47.79 to take the top spot.
Next week, the Illini hit the road for the first time this season, as they head to South Bend, Ind., for the Meyo Invitational from Feb. 4-5.
1. Illinois 263
2. Illinois State 131
3. Eastern Illinois 78
4. DePaul 31
5. Western Illinois 26
6. SIU-Edwardsville 25.5
7. Bradley 20.5
8. McKendree 9
Illinois First Place Finishers
Tamika Robinson, 7.48
Tamika Robinson, 8.20
Ashley Kelly, 24.55
Ashley Kelly, 55.08
Samantha Murphy, 1:32.29
Stephanie Richartz, 12-5 ½ (3.80m)
Kawanna Brooks, 18-5 (5.61m)
Kawanna Brooks, 38-9 ¾ (11.83m)