Junior Marissa Golliday won the heptathlon Friday at the EIU Big Blue Classic, scoring 5,019 points, sixth highest on the school record list and a new facility record.
March 30, 2012
CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Illini performed well during the first day of the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic with two Illini taking home event titles and three running new personal-bests during the contest. Highlighting day one was senior Latoya Griffith winning the 400m hurdles and junior Marissa Golliday capturing her first ever heptathlon crown.
"Great run for Latoya (Griffith), "head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We are working on some things with her race strategy so she should improve a lot in the meets to come. Jayla (McArthur) ran a personal best today so I'm really glad she is coming along. Kristin Morrison had a personal best in the heptathlon and it was Marissa Golliday's first ever heptathlon and she won the event. I am so happy that Marissa found the perfect event for her and Coach Erb is doing a great job in coaching her."
Griffith won her third consecutive 400m hurdles title this outdoor season with a season-best time of 58.68, also a new O'Brien stadium record. Senior Jayla McArthur also set a personal-best time of 1:00.81 and placed sixth while sophomore Jesica Ejesieme finished ninth with a time of 1:01.90.
Junior Golliday won her first heptathlon, compiling 5,019 points as she won the 200m (24.48) and 800m (2:18.62) and tied for second in the high jump and the shot put. Golliday's point total ranks sixth highest on the school record list and set a new facility record. Teammate Morrison finished the heptathlon with a personal-best 4,558 points, breaking her old record by 200 points.
Tomorrow, the Illini will be back in action as senior Ashley Kelly will look to improve her time in the 100m and 200m as she's joined by nine other Illini including junior Kayla Smith who holds the second fastest 200m time in the conference (24.00). Senior Jayla McArthur and freshman Asia Thomas will compete in the 400m while nine Illini are scheduled to run the 1,500m, led by sophomore Katie Porada. Sophomore Meagan Hynes will kick off the outdoor season, competing in the 3,000m steeplechase for the Orange and Blue. Also scheduled to compete tomorrow is Griffith and three other Illini in the 100m hurdles.
In the field events, sophomore Stephanie Richartz looks to set another school record in the pole vault. Other Illini to watch include freshman Kristen Wilson in the shot put and Morrison in the javelin.
Full results and a recap following the completion of the meet tomorrow can be found on fightingillini.com. Next week, Illinois will travel south to Baton Rouge, La., to compete at the Battle on the Bayou hosted by LSU.
Illinois Results after Day 1 of the EIU Big Blue Classic