Sophomore Ashley Spencer looks to add more Big Ten titles to her three which she earned indoors last season.
Feb. 20, 2013
2013 Big Ten Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships
Friday, Feb. 22 - Saturday, Feb. 23
Spire Institute // Geneva, Ohio
The Illinois women's track and field team heads to Geneva, Ohio for the Big Ten Indoor Championships this weekend at the Spire Institute from Feb. 22-23. This will be the first time the conference championship have been at a neutral site. The meet kicks off Friday at 9:50 a.m. CT with the start of the pentathlon followed by the running trials, which are set to begin at 11:00 a.m. Finals of the pentathlon, shot put, pole vault, long jump, 3,000m and distance medley relay will all take place on Friday afternoon. Meet action resumes at 10:00 a.m. CT on Saturday for the high jump, with running finals scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. The final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay, is scheduled to start at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday. Live results will be available throughout the meet and linked on fightingillini.com
The 2013 Big Ten Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships will be televised tape-delayed by the Big Ten Network on Saturday, March 5 at 11:00 a.m. CT.
Illinois History at the Big Ten Indoor Championships
The Fighting Illini have won a total of five Big Ten indoor team titles since the women's championships began in 1982, with the most recent coming in 1996. Illinois has also won a total of 25 individual indoor titles in field events, the second most in the Big Ten. They also have tied the second-most relay crowns (11) and third-most track titles (38), giving them the second-most total individual titles (74) in the conference.
Illinois finished fourth at the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships with 79 points, as host Nebraska took home the team title with 114.5 points. It was the first time the Illini had finished in the top four since the 2007 season. Ashley Spencer won the 200m and 400m titles and was therefore named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Spencer was also part of the 4x400m relay squad which set the Big Ten meet record, school record and won the conference title. The Illini also scored points in the 60m hurdles with Breeana Coleman and Jesica Ejesieme, 600m in Ryisha Boyd, and Amanda Duvendack in the 800m. Additionally, the DMR relay placed fifth, Marissa Golliday scored in the pentathlon while two racked up points in the pole vault and Kawanna Brooks placed in the long jump.
Head Coach Tonja Buford-Bailey on the 2013 B1G Championships
"We've been doing a lot of work and I think the girls are looking forward to this weekend. We're trying to win as a team and that's our only objective. Hopefully we get some fast times and NCAA qualifications out of the performances. This season has really been more of a team effort and it's nice to see everyone stepping up."
Illini Athletes to Watch:
Ashley Spencer, Sprints (So., Indianapolis, Ind.)
Sophomore Ashley Spencer looks to add to her already incredible resume this weekend, as she was a three-time Big Ten champion last indoor season, winning the 200m, 400m and was the final leg of the 4x400m relay. The Indianapolis, Ind., native was named Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year for her efforts. Spencer reset the school record of 52.07 in the 400m this year, and is holds the second fastest time in the NCAA and leads the Big Ten in the event. She also leads the Big Ten in the 200m and ranks 10th best in the nation with a time of 23.42. The sophomore is also the defending Big Ten Track Athlete of the week.
Samantha Murphy, Middle Distance (Jr., Perth, Ontario)
Junior Samantha Muyrphy looks for her first Big Ten Championships title after beginning one of her best seasons to date. Murphy broke the eight-year 800m school record at the Spire Invitational with a time of 2:04.17 which is fourth in the nation and second in the Big Ten. The junior has finished either first or second in each meet this season.
Morolake Akinosun, Sprints (Fr., Aurora, Ill.)
Freshman Morolake Akinosun looks to compete in her first Big Ten Championships. She holds the fastest time in the 60m in the Big Ten (7.38) and has the seventh best time in Illinois history in the event. Akinosun also has the fourth fastest 200m time (23.72) in the conference and sixth best in school history.
Stephanie Richartz, Pole Vault (Jr., Island Lake, Ill.)
Junior Stephanie Richartz looks for another Big Ten title, as she won the event outdoors and placed second indoors last year. Richartz is tied for the top mark of 13-10 (4.22m) in the Big Ten and ranks 12th in the nation. She set her season best at the Spire Invitational a few weekends ago.
Breeana Coleman, Hurdles (Jr., Olathe, Kan.)
Junior Breeana Coleman is looking to win her first Big Ten title in the hurdles, as she finished runner-up at last year's meet in the event. She currently holds the three fastest times in the event this year with a season-best time of 8.25 which was recorded at the Spire Invitational a few weeks ago. Coleman has advanced to the finals and finished no lower than third in the hurdles during the entire indoor season.
Having won four different titles throughout the season, the Orange and Blue look to add to their Big Ten title from last year. The team ran their fastest time this season at the Husker Invitaitonal ranking seventh in school history with a time of 3:36.64. The 4X400 relay will be the final event run at the championships and is slated to take place at 3:20 p.m. CT.
Complete Big Ten notes can be found in the above PDF.