Illini Finish Second at Illinois Twilight
April 12, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois women's track and field team won four event titles at the Illinois Twilight on Saturday. In the first outdoor meet since 2010, the Illini set numerous marks that rank among the best in the conference and eight Illini recorded personal-bests. Illinois scored 141 points to place second at the meet, with Indiana State claiming the team title with 250 points.
"We appreciate having the opportunity to compete at home," said head coach Ron Garner. "We're glad the community had the opportunity to come out and see us. It was a beautiful night and it was nice having the seniors recognized. We're going to move forward and keep working hard."
Jesica Ejesieme won her second 100m hurdles title of the season, clocking a time of 13.40, which is currently the fastest in the Big Ten so far this season. Mobolaji Adeokun took third in the event with a personal-best time of 13.73. Britten Petrey continued her success in the 3,000m steeplechase, winning her third straight title in the event. The sophomore clocked a personal-best time of 10:50.41. Alyssa Schneider won the 5,000m with a time of 16:40.13, followed by Amanda Fox (17:41.26) in third.
Kymbriona Taylor took third place in the 100m with a time of 11.96, while Chloe Schmidt (400m) and Lindsey Rakosnik (800m) each notched fourth-place finishes. Taylor also competed in the 200m and placed fourth with a personal-best time of 24.48.
"Kymbriona Taylor has been so consistent both indoors and outdoors," said Garner. "Every time she steps out she's improving and she's done a fantastic job this year. Lindsey Rakosnik came back last week and competed for the first time in a long time. She shows the talent. This is an important part of getting her back."
Kandie Bloch-Jones had her best meet of the outdoor season, winning the high jump with a personal-best mark of 1.77m. Mariah Smith placed third in the discus with a new personal-best mark of 50.61m, the best mark in the Big Ten this season and the third-best in school history. Tess Johnson (35.38m) recorded a second-place finish in the javelin in her Illini debut, while Lela Dimonte (34.60) set a new personal-best to finish third.
"Mariah is number three all-time, and the top-two were Big Ten champions," said Garner. "That was a big breakthrough for her. Not only the mark, but it's what Mariah has learned in the process. She's had some bumps and bruises but she's continuing to work. I had actually walked away after we worked on her technique and I was't there, and Kristen Wilson coached her during that time. Thats important to me because its not about the coach, its about them. That's what we want them to learn, is that our success will be based on their efforts and their commitment to their teammates. Despite the conditions, Kandie had great attempts at six feet for the first time since indoors. She did a fantastic job."
"Theres' a lot of good things going on and thats what we have to focus on," said Garner. "All you can ask for people to do is to give their best. If we're consistently giving our best, then we're getting better. Hopefully we can build off of some of those things."