Richartz Wins Big Ten Pole Vault Title on Day 1
Feb. 22, 2013
Geneva, Ohio -- On the first day of the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Illinois women's track and field team crowned one Big Ten champion and scored in three events to earn 30 team points while also qualifying individuals in seven events to tomorrow's finals. Stephanie Richartz won her first indoor conference crown in the pole vault, and was one of two individuals to set school records in their respective events. The Orange and Blue sit in fourth place heading into the final day of competition.
"We did so well today," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We had a great first day, it ranks as one of the best ever. The four people who scored today, really had some special performances. I hope we can keep this intensity tomorrow and do the same kinds of things."
Junior Richartz won her second overall Big Ten title on Friday night, as she finished with a school record height of 13-11 1/4 (4.25m). Teammate Elizabeth Eitzen recorded her highest career finish at the indoor conference meet, finishing fourth and setting a height of 12-11 1/2 (3.95m). Also in the field events, senior Marissa Golliday finished second in the pentathlon with 4,067 points, the second most in school history. Golliday won the high jump and the 800m while senior Kristin Morrison scored one team point after finishing eighth with 3,579 total points.
"Coach Erb has done a great job with all the field event athletes," Buford-Bailey said. "For us to score 24 points in two events on day one is awesome. He spends a lot of hours at the track with the field event group with all the men's field events. His efforts are definitely appreciated. I'm also very thankful for the work Brian Carrel has done with our pole vaulters."
In the distance medley relay, senior Madeline Aufmann, senior Lauren Hollingsworth, sophomore Chloe Schmidt and junior Katie Porada combined to run a time of 11:16.03 and place third overall, giving the Illini six team points. The time ranks third on the all-time list. Porada also finished seventh in the mile prelims, finishing with a time of 4:46.22 to advance to tomorrows race.
Freshman Morolake Akinosun advanced to tomorrows finals in both the 60m and the 200m. Akinosun qualified with the fastest time of 7.34 in the 60m, which is tied for the fifth fastest time in the Illinois record books. In the 200m, the Aurora, Ill., native improved her career best time as she finished second with a mark of 23.70 which is sixth best in school history. Joining Akinosun in tomorrows finals is sophomore Ashley Spencer. Spencer qualified in both the 200m and 400m. She set a 200m time of 23.84 while running the fastest 400m time of the day (53.83). Asia Thomas also advanced to the finals of the 400m, running a lifetime best time of 54.34, which is the fifth fastest in school history.
Junior Samantha Murphy was the second Illini to set a school record on Friday as she won the 600m in a time of 1:28.87. The time was the fastest of the day and broke the six-year record which was set by Carlene Robinson in 2007 with a time of 1:29.40. Murphy also advanced to tomorrows finals in the 800m, crossing the finish line with a time of 2:07.88.
Also recording a new lifetime best on Friday was junior Kristen Wilson in the shot put. Wilson threw a mark of 46-5 1/2 (14.16m) to finish 14th overall. The mark cracked the Illinois top-10 list and sits at fifth best.
A full list of Illinois results from competition on Friday can be found below. Saturday's action will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:20 pm with the 4x400m.
Big Ten Team Standings (Through six events)
Illinois Friday Results at Big Ten Indoor Championships
3,000m unseeded (FINAL)
Shot Put (FINAL)
Long Jump (FINAL)
* Denotes School Record