Robinson, 4x400m Relay Run Season Bests at Iowa State NCAA Qualifier
March 6, 2010
AMES, Iowa - Junior Tamika Robinson matched her career-best with an 8.25 to win the 60m hurdles while the Illini 4x400m relay squad of sophomores Ryisha Boyd and Ashley Kelly, freshman Marissa Golliday and junior Melissa Bates ran a season-best time of 3:37.00 to take fifth at the Iowa State NCAA Qualifier. The Orange and Blue competed at the Lied Recreation Center in hopes of solidifying their individual chances to qualify next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships.
"Tamika should be solid for next week's championships after running well and tying her personal best," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We were hoping the 4x400m relay would run a little bit faster, but it was still a season best, so we have to be happy with that."
Heading into the weekend, Robinson ranked 14th in the nation with her provisional qualifying mark of 8.25 and Buford-Bailey believed one other competitor only passed her, meaning she is still primed to make her first-ever NCAA Indoor Championships. The 4x400 had the 20th-best mark going into the weekend, but now ranks 26th in the country after several other schools improved on their times.
"The 4x400m squad probably needed to run about a second faster today," Buford-Bailey said. "They ran their fastest time of the season, but we will just start training to get ready for the outdoor season."
If selected, Robinson would join seniors Aja Evans and Angela Bizzarri at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Both seniors notched automatic qualifying marks at the Big Ten Indoor Championships two weeks ago and are focused on garnering All-America status for the second straight year. Evans currently ranks fifth in the shot put with her school record mark of 56-0 1/2 (17.08m) while Bizzarri is sixth in the 3,000m (9:10.16) and 14th in the 5,000m (16:06.88) among the nation's best.
Selections for the NCAA Indoor Championships will be announced Monday night. The NCAA Indoor Championships are scheduled for March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Randal Tyson Track Center.