Squads Head to Three Different Meets This Weekend
March 28, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A majority of the Illinois women's track and field team will compete at the Texas Relays this weekend while a small distance group will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the Stanford Invitational. Also, about 16 Orange and Blue athletes will compete at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic this weekend. The Texas Relays/Stanford Invitational run from today through Saturday, March 30 while the SIU meet begins tomorrow. The Texas Relays is one of the largest and most prestigious meets in the country.
"The Texas Relays meet is very challenging but at the same time it is fun," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "No matter what events we are running, there will be very good competition. Again, it's another opportunity for us to be outdoors on a track. That will give us the chance to work on things we can't right now because of the weather. These girls want to improve and drop their times, so we're looking forward to that this weekend."
Three Illini will look to lower their 100m times as freshman Morolake Akinosun leads the trio of junior Breeana Coleman and senior Lauren Hollingsworth. After capping off an incredible indoor season where she earned All-America honors, junior Samantha Murphy will seek to continue her success to the outdoor track. Murphy, along with junior Amanda Duvendack will compete in the 1,500m on Saturday afternoon.
Coleman will also compete in the 100m hurdles as she qualified for the NCAA Championships outdoors in the event last season. Joining her will be junior Jesica Ejesieme, freshman Mobolaji Adeokun and senior Kristin Morrison. In the 400m hurdles, the defending Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week Ashley Spencer looks to make another statement after she posted the second fastest time in the country last weekend (57.34). Ejesieme will also double in the hurdles, as she will also compete in the 400m race.
Junior Stephanie Richartz will lead herself along with senior Elizabeth Eitzen as the pair of pole vaulters will begin competition on Friday evening. Morrison will also seek to improve her marks in the long jump and javelin while senior Marissa Golliday will join Morrison in the long jump.
The Illini will compete in five relays this weekend including the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 4x800m and sprint medley. Below is the list of relays and which Illini will be running in each:
4x100: Lauren Hollingsworth, Asia Thomas, Morolake Akinosun, Ashley Spencer
The Orange and Blue will also send a small group of distance athletes to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational. Redshirt-junior Stephanie Morgan, junior Katie Porada and sophomore Chloe Schmidt will double in the 800m and 1,500m while freshman Lindsey Rakosnik will open in the 1,500m. Senior Madeline Aufmann will open her outdoor season in the 3,000m steeplechase while redshirt-freshman Alyssa Schneider will compete in the 5,000m and senior Courtney Yaeger, the school record holder in the 10,000m looks to improve her time in the event.
Sixteen Illini will compete at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic this weekend including two in the discus on Friday (Mariah Smith/Jazjuan Wallace-Sipp). Action starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Smith competing in the hammer throw, while freshman Jannifer DeBellis and Nicole Demarais will look to improve their pole vault marks. Junior Kristen Wilson will compete in the shot put while Vicky Pavlou in the triple jump. After opening up her outdoor season last weekend, Lela Dimonte will look to improve her javelin mark on Saturday while Meagan Hynes will run the 3,000m steeplechase for the first time this year. Four Illini will run the 1,500m while Leteshia Dove and freshman Germainy Debbie Mokeleba will run the 100m and 200m. Senior Michelle Stratton wraps up action in the 5,000m.
The Illini will travel to Tempe, Ariz., next weekend for Arizona State's Sun Angel Track Classic on April 5-6.