Two Score in Steeplechase and Facility Records Broken at Big Tens
May 12, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Juniors Madeline Aufmann and Amber Stack picked up six points by placing fifth and seventh in the steeplechase at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday. Freshman Ashley Spencer and senior Latoya Griffith also highlighted day two, setting a new McClimon Track and Field facility record in the 400m and 400m hurdles, respectively. Spencer and Griffith were two of 10 Illini to qualify for the finals tomorrow. In the heptathlon, the junior duo of Marissa Golliday and Kawanna Brooks etched their names into the record books, with the fourth and fifth best finishes in school history.
"We had great performances today from the heptathletes as well in the steeplechase," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We also had a few facility records broken which was another highlight of day two of the championships. I think we're in pretty good position for tomorrow's finals."
Aufmann and Stack each notched their best conference finish in the steeplechase on Saturday, finishing fifth and seventh. Both Illini also earned new career-bests in the event, as Aufmann clocked a 10:17.57, an 11 second improvement and Stack timed a 10:19.07, a seven second improvement. The duo notched six points for the Illini.
"These girls were definitely one of the highlights," Buford-Bailey said. "The way they ran the race was great. They had huge personal-bests."
In her first Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Spencer qualified for the finals of three events, including the 200m, 400m and was part of the 4x100m relay. The Indianapolis, Ind., native started the day with the fastest 400m time of 51.99, a time which set a new facility record and is second fastest in school history. In the 200, Spencer ran the quickest prelim time of 23.14 while the 4x100m relay team of Jesica Ejesieme, Ashley Kelly, Kayla Smith and Latoya Griffith that took second in the prelims with a time of 44.88.
In the heptathlon, junior's Golliday finished fifth with 5,253 total points while Brooks placed eighth with 5,170 points. Golliday was sitting in ninth place until the last event in which she won the 800m with a career-best time of 2:12.21. She also set a new personal-best long jump mark of 17-11 (5.46m). Brooks took first in the long jump with a mark of 19-2 ¾ (5.86m), ninth in the javelin and 14th in the 800m (2:31.79).
"What Marissa (Golliday) did in the heptathlon today was amazing." Buford-Bailey said. "She went from ninth to fifth with the 800m and the way she ran it was spectacular. Kawanna (Brooks) came through in the long jump as well."
In the 400m hurdles, Griffith recorded a new facility record time of 57.56 in the prelims to advance to tomorrow's final while Ejesieme notched an enormous personal-best time (58.82) in the event when she placed third in the heat and seventh overall.
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 triple jump finals followed by the 4x100m relay at 12:45 p.m. The meet will conclude with the 5,000m final followed by the 4x400m relay, which is slated for 3:33 p.m.
Illinois Saturday Results at Big Ten Outdoor Championships
>Team Results Through Seven Scored Events
Sunday, May 13