Freshman Stephanie Richartz broke her own school record and took third in the pole vault at the Big Ten Championships.
May 13, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Freshman Stephanie Richartz broke her own school record in the pole vault on Friday at the Big Ten Championships, clearing a height of 13-3 ¾ (4.06m) and scoring six points with a third-place finish. The Island Lake, Ill., native surpassed her first three bars with ease before vaulting to her personal best and earning the bronze medal. Senior Elizabeth Boyle added a point with an eighth-place finish in the 10,000m while senior Kelly Washington is in solid position in fourth place after racking up 3,156 points through four events of the heptathlon.
"It was a great start to the Big Ten Championships," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "Stephanie is just a freshman and improved on her indoor finish with another personal best and school record. Elizabeth gave us a point in the 10,000m, and Kelly started out great in the heptathlon and is way ahead of schedule."
Richartz, who placed fifth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, set the pole vault school record at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets this season. She bettered her previous best outdoor mark of 13-1 ¾ (4.01m) from the Polytan Invitational by five centimeters. Sophomore Maria Scheet also tallied a career day in the pole vault and just missed scoring with a 10th-place finish. Scheet notched the third-best mark in school history with a height of 12-4 (3.76m) while sophomore Elizabeth Eitzen competed in the event and tied for 12th with a mark of 12-0 (3.66m).
Boyle, the school-record holder in the 10,000m, timed 35:38.38 on the Cretzmeyer Track and finished eighth for the second year in a row. In her first 10,000m, sophomore Courtney Yaeger placed 16th and clocked the eight-fastest time in school history with a mark of 36:29.40. The Illini totaled seven points on a rainy day one of the conference meet and currently sit in eighth place.
"Elizabeth has trained really hard this season and will have another race on Sunday in the 5,000m," Buford-Bailey said. "It is always important to score in an event because every point counts."
In the heptathlon, Washington started the day with a PR time of 14.17 in the 100m hurdles and ended the day by turning in the fastest 200m time with a personal-best mark of 24.87. The Grayslake, Ill., native also matched a personal best by clearing a height of 5-4 ½ (1.64m) in the high jump and posted a season-best throw of 32-4 ¼ (9.86m) in the shot put.
"Kelly had the best first day she has ever had," field events coach Mike Erb said. "She has been doing really well in the long jump and javelin, so she will be in the mix tomorrow and hopefully can finish in the top three."
Illinois will be back in action at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday morning beginning with the final three events of the heptathlon. Running trials will begin at 2:10 p.m. with the 4x100m relay while Illini competitors also will compete in finals of the long jump, javelin and 3,000m steeplechase.
Illinois Friday Results at Big Ten Outdoor Championships
* school record
Team Results Through Three Scored Events
1. Indiana - 31
2. Michigan State - 17
3. Ohio State - 11
T4. Iowa - 10
T4. Penn State - 10
T4. Purdue - 10
7. Minnesota - 9
8. Illinois - 7
T9. Michigan - 6
T9. Wisconsin - 6