Junior Cheria Morgan was part of the victorious 4x200m relay and runner-up 4x100m relay on Saturday.
April 10, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Senior Aja Evans won the shot put title and a pair of Illinois relays took first on Saturday at Tennessee's SeaRay Relays. Evans placed first in the event for the second straight week with a mark of 55-1 (16.79m), while the 4x200m relay and 4x400m relay also picked up victories, giving the Illini three more titles at the Tom Black Track.
"It was an outstanding weekend," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "I was very pleased with how we performed and rallied together as a team. Everyone was cheering each other on, and we picked up a few more titles today. It was a perfect weekend for the track meet."
The foursome of junior Cheria Morgan, freshman Marissa Golliday, senior Paris Streeter and sophomore Jayla McArthur timed 1:37.05 to win the 4x200m relay, while the quartet of sophomore Ryisha Boyd, sophomore Ashley Kelly, sophomore Latoya Griffith and junior Melissa Bates turned in a solid time of 3:35.90 to edge Tennessee in the 4x400m relay by half a second. Illinois' other 4x400m relay of Streter, Golliday, freshman Kayla Smith and McArthur took fifth at 3:42.06.
The Illini 4x100m relay of Morgan, Kelly, Smith and junior Tamika Robinson earned a runner-up finish with a time of 45.15. In the 4x800m relay, the Illini group took fourth with a time of 9:10.44, as freshman Madeline Aufmann, junior Jamie Brusa, senior Ashley Thompson and junior Shannon Phelan ran the event. Freshman Kawanna Brooks, Illinois' only other competitor on Saturday, placed 10th in the long jump with a bound of 18-5 (5.61m).
Sun Angel Classic Recap
Four Illini distance runners ran on Saturday night at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., including senior Angela Bizzarri, who made her outdoor debut. Bizzarri garnered a runner-up finish overall but was the top collegian in the 1,500m with a time of 4:18.17 at Arizona State's Joe Selleh Track. In the 5,000m, senior Elizabeth Boyle (17:05.72) was 10th followed by junior Chantelle Groenewoud (17:12.41) in 13th and sophomore Kristin Sutherland (17:21.55) in 15th.
"For the first race out, everyone did a pretty good job competing," distance coach Jeremy Rasmussen. "Angela really feels like she can run a lot faster, which is a positive sign, and our 5,000m runners trained through their race and will continue to get faster."
Next week, the Illini again split up for a pair of meets on Saturday, April 17, with part of the team heading to the Dave Rankin Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., and others competing at the LSU Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge, La.