Freshman Morolake Akinosun was one of three Illini to win titles in outdoor season opener.
March 23, 2013
San Marcos, Texas -- The Illinois women's track and field team kicked off the outdoor season with a number of solid performances at the Texas State Elite Meet hosted by Texas State on Saturday. Sophomore Ashley Spencer won the 100m with a time of 11.46, freshman Morolake Akinosun took home the 200m victory with a time of 23.97 while junior Stephanie Richartz won the pole vault with a mark of 4.15m. The Illini racked up 119 team points in their season opener.
"Thought we had a great opener," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We had some really standout marks, especially Ashley Spencer and Morolake Akinosun in the 100m. It was a personal best for Ashley and close to Morolake's career best as well. I thought the 400m race went really well. It was very good openers for all of them and close to their personal bests. Spencer also had a personal best in the 400m hurdles without even practicing outdoors. It was the same thing for Jesica Ejesieme, she had her best opener ever. In the field events, Stephanie Richartz did great. She won the event pretty easily. Overall, I'm really happy we went out and ran well. Now we're just getting ready for the Texas Relays."
Spencer captured her first 100m outdoor crown in a personal best time of 11.46, a time which currently ranks seventh fastest in the nation and sixth best in the school record books. Akinosun also finished second in the 100m with a time of 11.49 and junior Breeana Coleman placed fourth with a time of 12.03. Akinosun also crossed the finish line first in the 200m with a time of 23.97 which is just off her career best. Senior Lauren Hollingsworth finished third in the event with a time of 24.60.
Three Illini scored team points in the 400m as senior Marissa Golliday finished first for the squad and second overall with a time of 54.15. Hollingsworth crossed the line third (54.42) and sophomore Asia Thomas finished fourth with a time of 54.43. The Illini had two runner-up finishes in the hurdles races as Coleman finished with a time of 13.53 in the 100m hurdles and Spencer finished with a time of 56.62 which ranks sixth best in school history. Junior Jesica Ejesieme scored eight team points as she finished third in the 100m hurdles (13.58) and fifth in the 400m hurdles (1:00.68).
Richartz lead the Illini in the field events as she took the title with a mark of 4.15m which currently ranks fifth best in the nation. Freshman Vicky Pavlou finished runner-up in the triple jump with a mark of 11.84m while Golliday also finished second in the high jump with a mark of 1.70m which is just outside the school's top-10 list. Senior Kristin Morrison finished the day in third place in the javelin with a mark of 37.39m which is just off her personal best.
The Illini will split next weekend as some will travel to Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Relays from March 28-30 while others will run at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.
1. UTSA - 139.50
2. Texas State - 138.50
3. Illinois - 119
3. Arkansas - 119
5. UCLA - 5
Illinois Results from Texas State Elite Meet
3. Amanda Duvendack, 2:09.95 - 6 team points
9. Kristin Morrison, 5.16m - 1 team point
2. Marissa Golliday, 1.70m - 8 team points
2. Vicky Pavlou, 11.84m - 8 team points