Freshman Morolake Akinosun won the USA Junior 100m title to qualify for the Pan American Junior Championships in August.
June 20, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Just two weeks after helping the Illini finish 14th in the NCAA, freshman Morolake Akinosun continued her success as she won the 100m crown at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships. Akinosun qualified to compete for team USA at the Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Columbia August 23-25.
"Morolake made us very proud today," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "To win a national title on any level is outstanding. She competed very well and it shows that she is an extremely good competitor. There was a -4.4 headwind and she didn't let it discourage her because she really wanted the win. Ashley ran well also. The 400m is tough this year on the senior level as its ever been and this is all new for her. To come out today and keep her composure against Olympic gold medalist and others in the event with so much more experience, says a lot for her. Today was great for both of them."
In the prelims, Akinosun had the fastest overall time of 11.66 to automatically qualify for the finals a few hours later. The freshman won the event with a time of 11.64 to take the crown. Akinosun is the second consecutive Illini to win a USA Junior title as Spencer won the 400m title last season. Jennifer Madu of Texas A&M will also join Akinosun in Columbia as she finished second overall with a time of 11.67. Akinosun will also compete in the 200m tomorrow with the prelims at 12:20 p.m.
In the senior division, two-time NCAA champion Spencer finished second in her heat with an automatic qualifying time of 52.01. Spencer's time is the fastest of all collegians in the race and is the seventh best of the 16 runner semifinal. The semifinal is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 7:36 p.m. CT.
100m Final Results at USA Junior Outdoor Championships
1. Morolake Akinosun, Illinois - 11.64
2. Jennifer Madu, Texas A&M - 11.67
3. Ana Holland, Unattached - 11.78
4. Alexis Faulknor, Central Florida - 11.82
5. Aaliyah Brown, Illinois Elite Track Club - 11.89
6. Marybeth Sant, Angel Flight Track - 11.95
7. Brianna Vaughn, Georgia - 11.98
8. Tianna Valentine, Kansas - 12.09
400m Prelims at USA Senior Outdoor Championships
1. Francena McCorory, Adidas - 51.38
2. Sanya Richards-Ross, Nike - 51.43
3. Natasha Hastings, Under Armour - 51.43
4. Keshia Baker, Saucony - 51.72
5. Ebonie Floyd, Unattached - 51.80
6. Joanna Atkins, Unattached - 51.81
7. Ashley Spencer, Illinois 52.01
(out of 19)