Freshman Stephanie Richartz broke the school record in the pole vault, clearing a height of 12-11 ½ (3.95m).
Feb. 26, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - On day one of the Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Illinois women's track and field squad scored in four events to pick up 17 team points while also qualifying nine individuals to finals on Sunday. Freshman Stephanie Richartz broke the school record in the pole vault, clearing a height of 12-11 ½ (3.95m) and finishing fifth overall. As a team, the Illini sit sixth after six events contested at Purdue's Lambert Fieldhouse.
"Our biggest accomplishment of the day was Stephanie Richartz breaking the school record in the pole vault," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "She had a great day and stepped up when it counted, so a freshman setting that record at the conference meet was the highlight of the day."
Richartz eclipsed the old school-record mark of 12-10 (3.91m), set by Ashley Whittaker in 2007, by an inch and a half. The Island Lake, Ill., native cleared each of her first three bars with ease before sailing over 3.85m on her third attempt to earn a shot at the school record, which she then went over on her second attempt. Another freshman pole vaulter Elizabeth Eitzen just missed scoring with a ninth-place finish after a personal-best mark of 12-7 ½ (3.85m).
Illinois' distance crew performed well, as senior Chantelle Groenewoud notched a personal-best time of 9:31.49 in the 3,000m to finish fifth overall. In the distance medley relay, four underclassmen, freshman Katie Porada, sophomore Marissa Golliday, freshman Amanda Duvendack and sophomore Stephanie Morgan, combined to run a season-best 11:29.03 and place fourth overall. That time ranks fifth on the Illinois all-time list.
"Chantelle was a surprise scorer after coming into the event unranked," Buford-Bailey said. "She showed her dedication and senior leadership with a great performance today. We also had a very young team that competed very well in the DMR, so we have a very bright future with that group."
In her first year competing in the pentathlon, senior Kelly Washington scored in the event with a fifth-place finish after racking up 3,596 points. She turned in her best finish in the long jump (5.57m) with a second-place showing while also placing fifth in the high jump (1.64m) and 60m hurdles (8.99).
"Kelly did a great job in her first time competing the pentathlon at the Big Ten meet, so hats off to her," Buford-Bailey said.
Two Illini were among the top-three finishers in the 800m preliminaries, led by Morgan's personal-best time of 2:08.17, which was the quickest of the day. Freshman Samantha Murphy also will run in the final after crossing the line third with a personal-best time of 2:09.81.
A trio of Illini advanced to the 400m final, with each of them finishing in the top five. Junior Ashley Kelly, Illinois' school record-holder in the event, clocked the fastest mark of the day (55.09) while senior Melissa Bates (55.84) and junior Ryisha Boyd (55.91) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Kelly also moved on to the 200m final with a time of 24.41, the fourth-fastest mark of the day.
Senior Tamika Robinson qualified for the final in a pair of events, taking third in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.20 and fourth in the 60m with a time of 7.48. The Chiacgo, Ill., won her heat in both events to advance to Sunday. Illinois' final qualifier came in the 600m, as junior Jayla McArthur grabbed the ninth and final spot with a personal-best time of 1:33.06.
A full list of Illinois results from competition on Saturday can be found below. Sunday's action of the Big Ten Indoor Championships will begin at noon and conclude at 3:30 p.m. with the 4x400m relay, the final event of the day. Live results can be found HERE.
Illinois Saturday Results at Big Ten Indoor Championships
Q/q = qualified for Sunday event final
Long Jump (FINAL)
11. Kawanna Brooks 18-2 ¼ (5.54m)
Big Ten Women's Indoor Championships Team Standings (Though six events)
1. Indiana 46
2. Minnesota 39
3. Purdue 31
4. Ohio State 25
5. Michigan 17.5
6. ILLINOIS 17
7. Wisconsin 16
8. Michigan State 15.5
9. Iowa 14
10. Penn State 13