Six Illini Qualify for Finals at Big Ten Indoor Championships
Feb. 28, 2014
GENEVA, Ohio -- The Illinois women's track and field team qualified for tomorrow's finals in three events at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Six Illini advanced to the finals, including three in the 800m, two in the 60m hurdles and one in the 400m.
"Our entire team gave great efforts today," said head coach Ron Garner. Everyone had either a personal best or a performance close to their seasonal best."
The Illini scored six points on day one of the conference finals. The distance medley relay squad of Stephanie Morgan, Kymbriona Taylor, Chloe Schmidt and Alyssa Schneider clocked the third-fastest time in school history to place third and score points for the Orange & Blue.
"We had an exciting day that concluded with a fantastic finish in the distance medley relay," said Garner. "What an effort! They fought every step of the race and improved our seasonal best by nine seconds. We're really proud of them. That's the type of effort we need to build this program on."
Illinois will be well represented in the 800m as three Iliini qualified for tomorrow's finals. Amanda Duvendack and Ahlivia Spencer each won their heat to advance to the finals, while Chloe Schmidt clocked a personal-best to move on. Nicole Choquette shaved nearly five seconds off of her personal-best time to finish 12th in the event, just missing a spot in the finals. Last year's third-place finisher Asia Thomas won her heat in the 400m to qualify for the event finals, while Jesica Ejesieme and Kawanna Brooks will represent the Illini in the 60m hurdles. Ejesieme ran her fastest 60m hurdles time of the season to advance to the finals, while Brooks clocked a personal-best.
The Illini also got strong performances in other events, including Jennifer DeBellis in the pole vault. She cleared a personal-best height of 3.95m, tied for the second-best in school history, to place 11th in the pole vault, while Britten Petrey clocked a personal-best in the mile. Kymbriona Taylor not only helped the DMR team to a third place finish, but also recorded a personal-best in the 200m.
"We look forward to tomorrow," said Garner. "We hope to see our finalists score and our second-day competitors give their bests, just as our team did on day one."
The Illini will begin the last day of competition tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT tomorrow with the high jump, followed by the weight throw at 10:10 a.m., while running event finals beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Big Ten Team Standings (Through six events)
Illinois Friday Results at 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships
3,000m seeded (FINAL)
Shot Put (FINAL)
Pole Vault (FINAL)