Senior Angela Bizzarri tied the school record and won the mile at the Tyson Invitational on Friday night.
Feb. 13, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Competing against some of the nation's top runners at the Tyson Invitational, senior Angela Bizzarri displayed why she is one of the country's elite runners in any distance event on Friday night at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The 2009 NCAA cross country and 5,000m champion won the mile with the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA this season of 4:40.68, which tied the 22-year old school record held by Melissa Straza and hit the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Bizzarri now holds the Illinois indoor record for the mile, 3,000m, 5,000m and as part of the distance medley relay.
"Under any competition and under any circumstances, Angela is just a winner," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "She is very competitive and a smart runner. She has been working on getting her speed down, and it looks like that is definitely working."
A number of other athletes turned in solid performances for the Illinois track and field team, led by provisional qualifying marks from the 4x400m relay and senior Aja Evans in the shot put. In the 4x400m relay, the foursome of sophomore Ryisha Boyd, sophomore Ashley Kelly, freshman Marissa Golliday and sophomore Latoya Griffith achieved the provisional standard with a season-best time of 3:38.50 and took ninth out of 29 teams. Evans placed third overall in the shot put and notched a provisional mark for the third time this season, throwing a season-best 53-0 ¼ (16.16m).
"As a team, I feel we are right where we need to be," Buford-Bailey said. "I feel good about where we are at because we are a little bit ahead of where we were last year."
In the 60m hurdles, junior Tamika Robinson recorded a personal-best 8.36, which was seventh best in the preliminaries and hit the provisional qualifying standard, but was a late scratch for the finals. Junior Melissa Bates also had a solid weekend, posting personal bests in the 200m and 400m. The Grand Prairie, Texas native, ran a 24.50 PR in the 200m and just missed the NCAA provisional time (54.40) in the 400m, as she turned in a time of 54.49 and placed 16th.
Freshman Kayla Smith missed a season-best time in the 200m by a hundredth of a second, as she ran 24.69, while Kelly posted a personal-best 24.85 in that race. Three other Illini recorded personal bests in the 400m, with Kelly (26th) at 55.16, Golliday (28th) at 55.35 and Griffith (38th) at 55.82. Boyd placed 30th with a 55.45 in the same event.
Other personal bests came in the triple jump from freshman Kawanna Brooks, who tallied a personal best with a bound of 38-10 ¼ (11.84m), in the 3,000m from Theresa Brokaw (10:06.40) and in the 800m from freshman Madeline Aufmann (2:14.02).
The distance medley relay team of junior Shannon Phelan, sophomore Jayla McArthur, junior Jamie Brusa and Aufmann ran a time of 11:53.18 to take fifth, while sophomore Kendall McCaugherty placed ninth in the high jump with a leap of 5-7 (1.70m).
Next week, Illinois competes at the EIU Friday Night Special on Feb. 19 in Charleston, Ill., before heading to State College, Pa., the following week (Feb. 27-28) for the Big Ten Indoor Championships.