Sophomore Jesica Ejesieme will compete in the 400m hurdles at the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career.
June 5, 2012
The Illinois women's track and field team will send six athletes in four events to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 6-9 at Drake Stadium. The Illini will be represented by sophomore Breeana Coleman in the 100m hurdles, freshman Ashley Spencer in the 400m, sophomore Jesica Ejesieme in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay of senior Ashley Kelly, senior Ryisha Boyd, senior Latoya Griffith and Spencer.
Spencer, who earned her first career All-America honors indoors in the 200m, will compete in the 400m. The Indianapolis, Ind., native is a six-time Big Ten Champion and currently holds the fastest collegiate time in the event. Spencer will run the anchor leg on the 4x400m relay along with Kelly, Boyd and Griffith. The relay, which advanced to nationals for the first time since 2006, turned in its top performance of the season at the NCAA West Prelims, setting a school record of 3:30.97.
In the hurdles events, Illinois boasts a pair of entries, which is tied with Ohio State for the most national qualifiers in the Big Ten. Both Coleman and Ejesieme will compete for the first time in their career at the national meet.
Live results and video will be available during all four days of the meet and linked on www.fightingillini.com. Wednesday's events will be available via NCAA.com and Thursday-Saturday on ESPN3.com. Saturday's events will also be televised on ESPNU in a window beginning at Noon (CT). Live updates from the meet will be posted to the @IlliniTrackXC Twitter account while a full recap and results can be found on fightingillini.com following the completion of each day.
Illini Schedule at the NCAA Championships
(All times Central)
Friday, June 8
5:45 p.m. 400m Hurdles Final
7:02 p.m. 400m Final
Saturday, June 9
12:14 p.m. 100m Hurdles Final
12:50 p.m. 4x400m Relay Final
New USTFCCCA All-America Policy
Individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point in an NCAA Track & Field Championship will earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-America honors (place first through eighth). Those individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall (including ties) in an NCAA Track & Field Championship will earn USTFCCCA Second-Team All-America honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above, but participate at least a round of the finals site for an NCAA Championship will be listed as Honorable Mention All-America.
Breeana Coleman (So., Olathe, Kan.) - 100m Hurdles
Earned her first trip to the NCAA Championships in the 100m hurdles by qualifying out of the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 13.31, which is seeded 23rd ... Garnered All-Big Ten honors for the first time following a second-place showing at the Big Ten Championships, marking her best finish at the conference meet with a personal-best time of 13.22... Her PR time ranks ninth in school history ... Placed third at the John McDonnell Invite.
Personal best in 100m Hurdles: 13.22 (5/13/12)
Jesica Ejesieme (So., Rowlett, Texas) - 400m Hurdles
Clinched a berth to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career after finishing fourth in her heat with her second-fastest 400m hurdles time (57.74) of the year ... Her qualifying time is seeded 14th out of the 24 entrants ... Ran a personal-best mark of 57.30 at the Big Ten Championships, where she garnered All-Big Ten honors for the first time following a second-place finish ... Her PR time ranks ninth in school history ... Also placed third in the 100m hurdles at the Big Ten Championships.
Personal best in 400m Hurdles: 57.30 (5/13/12)
Ashley Spencer (Indianapolis, Ind.) - 400m, 4x400m Relay
Advanced to nationals in an individual event for the first time in her career, punching her ticket in the 400m at the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 52.16 ... Her qualifying time is seeded 6th out of the 24 entrants ... Was a three-time Big Ten outdoor champion (200, 400m, 4x400m) and was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships and Freshman of the Year ... Her 400m time of 51.02 at the conference meet set a personal, school and a Big Ten meet record and currently is the fastest time in the NCAA.
Personal best in 400m: 51.02 (5/13/12)
Illinois 4x400m Relay: Ashley Kelly, Ryisha Boyd, Latoya Griffith, Ashley Spencer
Qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2006 with an automatic qualifying time of 3:30.97 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round ... Seeded fourth out of the 24 competing teams at the national meet ... Foursome broke the 19-year old school record at the West Preliminary Round ... Won the Big Ten Championships with a time of 3:31.77 ... The last time a 4x400m relay team competed in the national meet, they recorded a 12th-place finish in 2006.
Season best:3:30.97 (5/26/12)
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