Ashley Spencer and the 4x400m relay squad earned All-America honors and set a school record in the finals of the NCAA Championships.
June 8, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. -- Illinois concluded competition at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, setting another school record in the 4x400m relay while senior Marissa Gollidayfinished with second team All-America honors in the high jump. The Orange and Blue finished 14th as a team with 22 total points, marking the highest finish at the national meet since 2009.
"This was an outstanding meet from everyone," head coach Tonja Buford-Baileysaid. "We wanted to be top-15 and we accomplished that. We're striving to keep getting better. Everyone did so well and we broke a lot of school records during the meet. They stepped up the plate when they counted. We have really good quality athletes who perform better than their best. We're a young team and not losing a bunch of people so it's in a good place."
In the 4x400m relay, Golliday put the Illini in the top two as she finished nicely to hand off the baton to junior Ahlivia Spencer. Spencer ran the second leg before giving the stick to sister Ashley Spencer. Spencer brought the squad to fourth place heading into the final leg of the relay. Freshman Morolake Akinosuntook the baton and crossed the finish line fifth with a new school record time of 3:29.28. It's the third consecutive meet the Illini set a new school record and the second time this weekend, as they set the school's best in the semifinals. The quartet earned All-America honors for their efforts.
Golliday earned second team All-America honors in the high jump on Saturday afternoon, tying for ninth place in the event. The senior finished the day with a lifetime best mark of 5-10 3/4 (1.80m). The mark inches her to sole possession of fifth all-time in the Orange and Blue record books.
The Illini finished the meet 14th with 22 points with one national champion in Spencer and nine All-America honors.
Illinois Saturday Results at NCAA Championships
*= school record
High Jump (FINAL)
T-9. Marissa Golliday 5-10 3/4 (1.80m)