Sophomore Ashley Kelly will run in both relays for the Illini at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational.
April 15, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 24 Illinois women's track and field team has a pair of meets on the docket for the second week in a row, as the squad will send athletes to both LSU's Alumni Gold Invitational in Baton Rouge, La., and Purdue's Dave Rankin Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind. Both meets are scheduled for Saturday, April 17, with the sprinters, relays and field athletes at LSU's Bernie Moore Track Stadium and the distance crew at Purdue's Rankin Track.
"Each meet has events that we want to improve in, and we want to continue to build off our meet from last weekend," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "We are ahead of where we expected to be, so that is a good sign. We are trying to keep getting better in the events that we didn't score in at the Big Ten indoor meet, so that we can put up points in those events when we get to the conference outdoor meet."
Senior Aja Evans and junior Tamika Robinson both eye a three-peat at LSU this weekend after recording dominant victories at the last two meets. Evans has won back-to-back Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week honors and boasts the nation's third-best throw in the shot put, while Robinson will attempt to win both the 100m and 100m hurdles for the third week in a row.
Robinson currently ranks seventh in the nation and first in the Big Ten in the 100m hurdles after shattering her personal best with a time of 13.18 at the SeaRay Relays. She also ranks fourth in the conference in the 100m (11.74), and will anchor the 4x100m relay of junior Cheria Morgan, sophomore Ashley Kelly and freshman Kayla Smith, which ran the top time (45.15) in the Big Ten last week.
The 4x400m relay of sophomores Ryisha Boyd, Latoya Griffith and Kelly and junior Melissa Bates timed the second-fastest mark in the conference and 11th-best in the nation (3:35.90) last week and will try to move up the national descending order list. Illinois' other 4x400m relay will consist of senior Paris Streeter, freshmen Marissa Golliday and Kayla Smith and sophomore Jayla McArthur.
Bates also will run the 200m with Kelly, Morgan, Smith and Streeter and the 400m with Boyd, Golliday, Kelly and Streeter. Griffith will compete in the 400m hurdles, an event in which she ranks 19th in the country and second in the Big Ten with a time of personal-best time of 58.59, along with McArthur and sophomore Nia Muhammad.
A week after winning the high jump crown at the SeaRay Relays, sophomore Kendall McCaugherty is back in action in the event along with senior Alecia Beckford Stewart and freshman Shinelle Proctor. Freshman Kawanna Brooks will take part in the long jump with junior Kelly Washington and in the triple jump and in the triple jump with sophomore Alexandria Smith. In the pole vault, freshman Elizabeth Eitzen and junior Kaitlin Vicari are scheduled to compete.
Performers at Purdue
The Illini distance crew sends 10 runners to Purdue to compete in four different events. A trio of Illini, junior Taylor Bennett and freshmen Madeline Aufmann and Amber Stack, will run the 3,000m steeplechase at 12:20 p.m. CT followed by juniors Jamie Brusa and Ashley Thompson and freshman Kelsey Seiler in the 1,500m at 12:50 p.m. CT. Junior Shannon Phelan and freshman Mary Sullivan will run the 800m at 2:25 p.m. CT while junior Maggie Mulchrone and freshman Courtney Yaeger are slated for the 5,000m at 5:40 p.m. CT.
Live results for both meets can be found at fightingillini.com while a full recap and results will be posted online following the completion of the competitions. Next week, Illinois will head to the 101st annual Drake Relays from April 22-24 for three days of competition in Des Moines, Iowa at Drake University.