Senior Kelly Washington will compete in her first heptathlon of the season at the Polytan Invitational.
April 21, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois women's track team will head to Indiana for the Polytan Invitational from April 21-23 at the Billy Hayes Track. The Illini will kick off action on Thursday with a pair of multi-event athletes in the heptathlon while the majority of the open competition will take place on Friday and Saturday. A full schedule of events and live results are linked above.
"We are still in a heavy training cycle," head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "This meet will help us continue to train hard and get some more individual races in before the Drake Relays and Big Tens. We are looking to work on certain elements during each race, so the times won't be as big of a factor this weekend."
Senior Kelly Washington and sophomore Kristin Morrison are entered in their first heptathlon of the season after competing in several different individual events throughout the early part of the year. Washington is coming off a solid meet at the Sea Ray Relays, where she notched personal bests in the 60m hurdles and 200m. Both athletes are looking to complete a full slate of multi-event competition in preparation for the Big Ten Championships.
Six Illini are listed among the competitors in the 200m, highlighted by senior Melissa Bates and sophomore Kayla Smith, who own the top two times on the team this season. Four Illini will race in the 400m, led by juniors Ashley Kelly and Ryisha Boyd, who currently rank third and seventh, respectively, in the Big Ten.
In the middle distances, freshmen Amanda Duvendack and Samantha Murphy will look to improve their times in the 800m while sophomore Stephanie Morgan and senior Chantelle Groenewoud will pace the effort among the seven Illini in the 1,500m. Senior Elizabeth Boyle, who broke the 10,000m school record earlier this year, will run her first 5,000m of the outdoor season along with junior Stacy Hague.
Senior Tamika Robinson (100m hurdles) and junior Latoya Griffith (400m hurdles) are looking to drop time in their respective hurdle races while Robinson will also anchor the 4x100m relay of Morgan, Kelly and Smith. The 4x400m relay is expected to feature Boyd, Duvendack, Murphy and Smith.
Sophomore Kawanna Brooks will be the only Illini in the long jump, run the 100m with senior Cheria Morgan, and triple jump along with junior Alexandria Smith. Freshmen Stephanie Richartz and Elizabeth Eitzen are scheduled to pole vault while junior Kendall McCaugherty will be the lone Illini in the high jump. Sophomore Tiffany Wallick will throw the discus and javelin to round out the field event competition.
Full results and a recap following the completion of the meet can be found on fightingillini.com. Next week, Illinois will compete at the Drake Relays, its final scheduled competition before the Big Ten Championships (May 13-15).