Freshman Julia Ott made a name for herself on the Redbirds’ track and field team Saturday by breaking Illinois State pole vault record. She placed first in the competition with a height of 13-03, higher than former record holder Rachelle Harbert, who set the record in 2012. ISU head coach Elvis Forde was thrilled for her.
“The best news of the day for us was establishing a new record from freshman Julia Ott. She has been impressive at this time of the year, and she has been working hard. She came in with the ability to break the record and did so,” Forde said.
In addition to Ott’s performance, many other Redbirds finished with personal-bests in their respective events.
Sophomore Jianna Williams set her personal-best in the weight throw competition, throwing for 62-10.75. It was good enough for a third-place finish, which was a foot better than her former best.
“Jianna had a personal-best today. She has been very consistent and performing at a high level, which builds her confidence,” Forde said. “After competing against Southern Illinois throwers, she got to see what conference would hold.”
For the Redbird men, junior Kevin Fisch had a personal-best pole vault with a height of 16-02.75, earning him second place. Chase Pavelonis ended up finishing fourth in the competition with a height of 15-11.00.
“Kevin Fisch also had a very successful day, earning a personal-best mark. Chase has continued to have a very successful season, being consistent in every meet so far, which is what you want, consistency. Consistency is important to our growing process,” Forde said.
Junior Ryan Rutherford also had a career-fastest time in the mile by 10 seconds, finishing fourth in the competition with a time of 4:09.61.
CJ Hamilton finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.87, only milliseconds away from his personal-best time. Aidan Askin finished just two seconds after Hamilton to give him a personal best time of 1:54.39.
Anderson Devonish grabbed a personal best time in the 400-meter run to finish second with a time of 48.34.
“Andy Devonish had a very impressive run. He is a talented individual, and we will expect more from him as the season rolls around,” Forde said.
The team’s leading throwers, Curt Jensen and Akil Mills, also held their own during the meet. Jensen came in first in the shot put with a throw of 64-11.25, and Mills came in second in the weight throw with a 64-05.00 heave.
Despite the team raising their performance in the heat of competition, both the men’s and women’s teams came in fourth place. Michigan State won the men’s competition, followed by Notre Dame, Southern Illinois, and Illinois State. Notre Dame won the women’s competition, followed by Michigan State, Southern Illinois, and Illinois State.