Sophomore Stephanie Richartz set a new school record in the pole vault and finished first at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge.
March 23, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Illinois women's track and field team squad compiled 72 points at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge on Friday, however the SEC topped the Big Ten by a count of 390-323 at Mississippi State's Carl Maddox Track. Second-team All-American Stephanie Richartz continued her success into the outdoor season, as she set a new Illinois school record in the pole vault. Senior Latoya Griffithalso captured the 400m hurdles crown and garnered 10 points for the conference.
"We had some good performances today which allowed us to see where we are as a team, "head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "Kawanna Brooks, Stephanie Richartz, Mariah Smith, Amber Stackand Kristin Wilson all finished the day with a personal best. The wind was pretty gusty on the backstretch which made it tough for most of the oval events but it still turned out to be a good day."
Richartz won the pole vault crown with a mark of 13-4 ¼ (4.07m) which is the highest in school history. The performance also set a facility record and racked up 10 points for the Big Ten in the event. Griffith added another 10 points as the senior finished first in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.57, marking her second consecutive first-place finish in the event during the outdoor season.
Illinois' relay teams combined to total 11 points on the day. The 4x100m relay team of sophomore Moriyike Akinosun, junior's Kawanna Brooks and Kayla Smith and Griffith took fourth with a time of 47.06 while the 4x400m squad of junior Marissa Golliday, senior Ryisha Boyd, sophomore Amanda Duvendackand Griffith finished third with a mark of 3:42.94 to add six more points.
The Illini also scored 13 points in the sprinting events individually by Smith who finished runner-up and timed a 24.00 in the 200m and placed fourth in the 100m with a time of 11.97.
In the middle distance and distance crew, Duvendack (2:11.60), freshman Chloe Schmidt (2:13.41) and sophomore Samantha Murphy (2:14.49) finished sixth through eighth in the 800m, respectively. In the 1,500m, junior Amber Stack ran a personal-best time of 4:37.10 to finish in 11th while teammate Madeline Aufmannfinished closely behind with a time of 4:40.87 to place 13th.
The Illini competed in five field events and scored in each one of them, with Brooks being the next best point scorer behind Richartz, gaining eight points after placing second in the long jump. Brooks set a personal-best mark of 19-0 ¾ (5.81m). Other Orange and Blue to chip in points were junior Elizabeth Eitzen in the pole vault, freshman Kristen Wilson in the shot put, junior Kristin Morrison in the javelin and freshman Mariah Smithin the discus. Wilson's mark of 45-7 ¼ (13.90m) in the shot put marked a new career-best.
Points were awarded to the conference's top-eight finishers in each event using a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring format. A full list of Illinois results from the SEC/Big Ten Challenge can be found below.
Up Next:The Illini will head to Charleston, Ill., next weekend to compete in the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic on Saturday, March. 31.
SEC/Big Ten Challenge Standings
1. SEC -390
2. Big Ten - 323
Illinois Results at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge
11. Amber Stack 4:37.10
13. Maddie Aufmann 4:40.87
2. Kawanna Brooks19-0 ¾ (5.81m); 8 Big Ten points
7. Kristen Wilson45-7 ¼ (13.90m); 2 Big Ten points
8. Mariah Smith150-6 (45.89m); 1 Big Ten point