Freshman Ashley Spencer won three Big Ten outdoor titles in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay.
May 13, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Five Big Ten titles highlighted the final day of competition at the outdoor conference meet for the Illinois women's track and field team, as the squad tied for second overall with 110 points, the highest since 2007. Freshman Ashley Spencer won the 200m and 400m while senior Latoya Griffith was the 400m hurdles champion and sophomore Stephanie Richartz took the pole vault crown.
"We had a great weekend," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We did as best as we could've possibly done. We had some really huge performances today in Jesica Ejesieme, Latoya Griffith, Stephanie Richartz, 4x400m relay and Ashley Spencer to name a few. Across the board we had outstanding performances. It was a great team effort."
Spencer won the 200m in a time of 22.99, the third fastest time in school history while her 400m time of 51.02 set a new personal, school, facility, Big Ten meet record and ranks the fastest in the NCAA. The Indianapolis, Ind., native was also a part of the winning 4x400m relay team of Ryisha Boyd, Ashley Kelly, Latoya Grifith which took the Big Ten title in 3:31.77, the second quickest ever in the school records books.
The Illini notched 18 total points in the 400m hurdles as Griffith won her first Big Ten title with a personal-best time of 57.12 which ranks eighth best in school history while Jesica Ejesieme took second in the event, crossing the finish line in a career-best time of 57.30, ninth fastest in the record books.
Richartz won her first Big Ten title in the pole vault with a mark of 14-2 ¾ (4.34m), a new school record and just off setting a new facility and Big Ten meet record. Teammate Elizabeth Eitzen finished fifth with a personal-best mark of 13-0 ¾ (3.98m) which ranks second-best in school history
The Orange and Blue placed second and third in the 100m hurdles with Breeana Coleman finishing runner-up in a career-best time of 13.22 while Ejesieme clocked a time of 13.39 to finish third. The 4x100m relay team of Jesica Ejesieme, Ashley Kelly, Kayla Smith and Ashley Spencer took second place with a time of 44.45.
Katie Porada also scored points for the Orange and Blue, finishing seventh with a time of 4:22.19. The sophomore's time ranks fifth fastest in school history.
Up Next: The Illinois women's track and field team will head to Austin, Texas in two weeks for the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championships from May 24-26 at the University of Texas. The Illini athletes who qualify for the opening round of competition will be announced later this week.
Illinois Sunday Results at Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Final Team Results
1. Ohio State 117
2. Illinois 110
2. Nebraska 110
4. Penn State 87
5. Wisconsin 78
6. Michigan State 72
7. Michigan 67
8. Iowa 53
9. Minnesota 45
10. Indiana 40
10. Purdue 40
7. Katie Porada 4:22.19 - 2 team points
Triple Jump (FINAL)
13. Kawanna Brooks 39-10 ¾ (12.16m)
15. Mariah Smith 148-03 (45.19m)