Richartz Defends Pole Vault Title at Big Ten's
May 11, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Stephanie Richartz highlighted day two of the Big Ten Championships, defending her conference title in the pole vault on Saturday. The Illini qualified 17 individuals in eight events for the finals tomorrow. In the heptathlon, senior Marissa Golliday finished third and senior Kristin Morrisonplaced seventh. After eight scored events, the Orange and Blue sit in fourth place with 31 team points.
"Today was solid," head coach Tonja Buford-Baileysaid. "We had some ups and downs. We obviously had huge things happen in the pole vault. Elizabeth and Jen are gamers. When it comes to the conference meet and we need team points, Liz has always stepped up and performed well. I'm so happy for her especially as a senior. Jen's performance was outstanding as she qualified for the regional meet. As always, Stephanie was great. She went for stadium and conference record, today as well as winning her third straight conference title. Tomorrow we're hoping to run well and everyone does what they know they can do. It's good we still have people on the track tomorrow."
Richartz continued her success at the Big Ten Championships, defending her outdoor pole vault title after winning with a mark of 14-0 (4.27m). Senior Elizabeth Eitzen scored four points for the Illini as she finished fifth in the event with a season best mark of 12-10 1/4 (3.92m). In her first outdoor championships of her career, freshman Jennifer DeBellisfinished sixth overall, notching an impressive personal best mark of 12-10 1/4 (3.92m). Overall, the pole vault crew contributed 17 team points for the Orange and Blue.
Looking to defend her three Big Ten outdoor titles from last year, sophomore Ashley Spencer qualified in all three events including the 200m, 400m and was the anchor leg in the 4x100m relay. In her first open 400m race of the season, Spencer clocked a time of 52.66 which was the fastest in the Big Ten this season and ties the 17th fastest mark in the nation. The sophomore took the top time in the 200m, crossing the finish line with a time of 23.42 while the 4x100m relay squad of junior Jesica Ejesieme, sophomore Asia Thomas and freshman Morolake Akinosuntook the top qualifying spot with a time of 44.90.
Freshman Akinosun also automatically qualified in the 200m with a time of 23.46 while she won her heat in the 100m and finished with the fourth overall best time of 11.62 to advance to tomorrow's finals in both events. Joining Akinosun in the 100m final tomorrow is junior Breeana Colemanwho clocked a time of 11.79.
Three Illini qualify for tomorrow's 800m final as junior Samantha Murphy won her heat with a time of 2:05.04. The time is a lifetime best and ranks second fastest in Illinois history. Junior Amanda Duvendack took second in heat two with a personal best time of 2:07.42 which is sixth best in UI history. Junior Ahlivia Spencerrounds out the 800m qualifiers, finishing with the eighth best time of 2:08.49 in her first conference outdoor championships.
Junior Katie Poradaqualified automatically for the 1,500m final tomorrow after winning her heat in a time of 4:26.40. In the hurdles, Ejesieme advanced to tomorrow's finals in the 100m (13.75) and 400m hurdles (59.82) while Coleman will join her in the 100m final as she finished second in the heat with a time of 13.71.
In the heptathlon, Golliday finished third with 5,305 points which is the second best point total in school history. Her score is also the highest finish at the conference meet for the senior. Golliday won the 800m with a time of 2:14.84. Senior Kristin Morrison's800m personal best time of 2:26.43 helped her finish seventh in the combined events with 4,943 points.
A full list of Illinois results from Saturday can be found below. The Illini kick off competition on Sunday at 11 a.m. with the discus finals followed by the finals of the high jump (12:30 p.m.) and the finals of the 4x100m relay at 12:45 p.m. The meet will conclude with the 4x400m relay which is slated for 3:33 p.m.
Illinois Saturday Results at Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Team Results Through Eight Scored Events
400m Hurdles (Trials)
3,000m Steeplechase (FINAL)
Sunday, May 12