Head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey announced the addition of 10 recruits to the 2010-11 women's track and field squad.
July 26, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois women's head track and field coach Tonja Buford-Bailey announced the addition of 10 talented student-athletes to the 2010-11 recruiting class. A solid duo of 800m runners will join the Illini along with four distance runners, three athletes in the throws discipline and one pole vaulter. Amanda Duvendack (Metamora, Ill.) won back-to-back Illinois state titles in the 800m while Samantha Murphy (Perth, Ontario) took the top spot in the 800m at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) Track and Field Championship.
Stephanie Morgan (Barnesville, Ohio), a two-time cross country state champion and seven-time state champion on the track in high school, will transfer to Illinois after competing as a freshman at Baylor. Meghan Frigo (Elmhurst, Ill.), Katherine Rack (Oak Park, Ill.) and Melissa Schmidt (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), who each earned all-state honors in high school, will run cross country along with distance events on the track.
In the field events, Kristen Wilson (Ventura, Calif.), Mariah Smith (Aurora, Ill.) and Tiffany Wallick (Fisher, Ill.), a transfer from Northern Illinois, will compete in the throwing events while Stephanie Richartz (Carmel, Ill.) will join the squad as a pole vaulter.
"This year we made a strong effort to fill some gaps in our team," Buford-Bailey said. "We really wanted to fill in the middle distance area, and we did that with this class. We have three really good 800m runners coming in, so we hope to do some big things in that area. In the field events, we have three solid shot putters and a pole vaulter to help our efforts while our incoming distance runners will also help fill some gaps in cross country."
PROFILES ON THE NEWEST ILLINI
Amanda Duvendack // Middle Distance // Metamora, Ill. // Metamora HS
Two-time Illinois state champion in the 800m (2009 & 2010 - Class 2A)
Was the runner-up in the 800m at the 2008 Illinois Class 2A state meet
Owns a personal-best time of 2:10.20 in the 800m
Meghan Frigo // Distance // Elmhurst, Ill. // York HS
Earned all-state honors in cross country in 2008 after placing 21st at the Illinois state meet
Garnered all-state honors on the track in the 3,200m at the 2010 Illinois state meet, placing eighth overall
Stephanie Morgan // Distance // Barnesville, Ohio // Barnesville HS (Baylor)
Transferring from Baylor after competing as a freshman
Won the Ohio Division III title in cross country as a junior and senior
Won three consecutive 1,600m state titles and two-straight 800m titles
Also won the 3,200m at the state meet as a sophomore, and the 800m title as a freshman
Samantha Murphy // Middle Distance // Perth, Ontario // St. John Catholic HS
Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) 800m champion in 2010
Placed fifth in the 400m at the OFSAA Track and Field Championship
Owns a personal-best time of 2:08.37 in the 800m
Katherine Rack // Distance // Oak Park, Ill. // Oak Park and River Forest HS
Finished fifth at the Illinois state cross country meet in 2007 as a sophomore and placed 10th at the meet in 2006 as a freshman
Earned all-state and all-conference track honors in the 1,600m and 3,200m in 2007 and 2008
Stephanie Richartz // Pole Vault // Carmel, Ill. // Carmel HS
State finalist in the pole vault in 2010
Owns personal-best height of 11-6 in the pole vault
Melissa Schmidt // Distance // Hoffman Estates, Ill. // Hoffman Estates HS
Earned all-state honors in cross country in 2008 after placing 18th at the Illinois state meet
Finished 12th in the 3,200m and 10th in the 1,600m at the 2010 Illinois state track meet
Mariah Smith // Throws // Aurora, Ill. // West Aurora HS
State finalist in the shot put and discus in 2010
Owns personal-bests marks of 40-0 in the shot put and 129-0 in the discus
Tiffany Wallick // Throws // Fisher, Ill. // Fisher HS
Transferring from Northern Illinois
Owns personal-bests marks of 41-10 in the shot put and 141-1 in the discus
Kristen Wilson // Throws // Ventura, Calif. // Ventura HS
Owns personal-bests marks of 43-5 ½ in the shot put and 126-3 ½ in the discus