Junior Melissa Bates was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week after winning three event titles at the Carle/Health Alliance Classic.
Jan. 25, 2010
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Illinois women's track and field junior Melissa Bates was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week after winning three event titles at the Carle/Health Alliance Classic, announced the conference office today.
Bates posted victories in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay to highlight a stellar performance by the Illini at the UI Armory on Saturday. The Grand Prairie, Texas native began the day by cruising to the 400m title and provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships, clocking a 54.74 to better the second-place finisher by over 1.5 seconds. In the 200m, Bates turned in an impressive early-season time of 24.61, just 0.01 seconds off of her indoor personal-best of 24.60. She also anchored the 4x400m relay of sophomores Jayla McArthur, Ashley Kelly and Ryisha Boyd to first place with a time of 3:47.10.
This is the first weekly accolade in Bates' indoor career and the first-ever indoor track laurel for Illinois since the Big Ten began differentiating between the two fields in 2007.
Bates and the rest of the Fighting Illini will head this weekend to the Illinois Intercollegiates in Charleston, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 30.