Junior Stephanie Richartz was one of three pole vaulters to set a new season best at the Spire Invitational.
Feb. 8, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio -- The Fighting Illini women's track and field team began competition today at the Spire Invitational as the pole vault crew highlighted day one. All three pole vaulters set season bests while four other individuals and a distance medley relay also competed on Friday.
"I thought overall our team did well today," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "The highlight of today's performances were the pole vault group. Each one set a season best mark today and are improving. Also, Amanda Duvendack ran close to her personal best in the 600m after being sick for awhile. It was good to see her back on the track. Our DMR relay did pretty well. We were aiming for a time near the school record but had some scheduling problems so I think that shook the girls a bit. Lastly, Alyssa Schneiderran in her first 5,000m of her career. Overall she ran a good race, got a bit overheated during the final few laps but competed well."
The trio of pole vaulters all set season bests on Friday night as junior Stephanie Richartz finished second overall with a mark of 13-10 (4.22m) while senior Elizabeth Eitzen placed seventh with a mark of 12-6 1/4 (3.82m). Richartz's mark moves her into the top-10 on the national lists. Newcomer Jennifer DeBellis placed 13th overall with a mark of 12-0 1/2 (3.67m).
In her first 600m race of the season, junior Amanda Duvendack ran just off her personal best in the event, finishing 10th overall in a time of 1:33.89. Alyssa Schneiderwas the lone Illini to compete in the 5,000m. The sophomore ran a solid race, crossing the line sixth with a time of 16:54.96 in her first 5K of her career.
The distance medley squad of junior Samantha Murphy, sophomore Ashley Spencer, junior Ahlivia Spencer and junior Katie Poradaturned in a solid performance. The relay finished second with a time of 11:14.65.
The Illini will resume competition tomorrow at the Spire Invitational with competition beginning at 9 am CT with the long jump.