Despite cold conditions in what is supposed to be the springtime, the Redbirds finished in fourth and third place of seven competing schools this weekend at the Bill Cornell invitational at Southern Illinois.
All-American shot-put Curt Jensen began Friday with a third-place throw in the discus with a distance of 50.93m. He also had a hammer throw of 58.97m to finish fourth. Fellow all-American Akil Mills placed second in both the shot put and hammer throws with distances of 16.45m and 60.93m, respectively.
“Track and field was at its toughest in regards to the weather being windy and cold,” head coach Elvis Forde said. “However, I believe our kids responded well in both the field events and on the track. Akil Mills had a great day, throwing a personal-best in the shot put. Despite the weather, all of the throwers performed to what they are capable of doing … I definitely give a passing grade to this group.”
Fabian Norgrove and Anderson Devonish finished second and fourth in the 400-meter dash with times of 48.65 and 49.12, respectively. They would then compete with Coty Kramer and Antonio Farley in the 4×400 and place first with a time of 3:19.21.
Aidan Askin and Dave Eckhart competed in the 1,500-meter and finished third and fourth with times of 3:58.75 and 3:59.28, respectively.
On the women’s side, Jianna Williams had two top-five finishes as well. She finished third in the shot put with a throw of 14.32m and fourth in the hammer with a distance of 53.48m.
Shandel Ellis and Ally Christiani finished nearly side-by-side in the 400-meter dash with times of 58.14 and 58.55 to place second and third.
The Redbird women dominated the 1,500-meter run with five runners in the top eight finishers, resulting 26 of the women’s 99 points. Kristen Zillmer finished first (4:38.68), followed by Haley Goers (second, 4:39.83), Kelly McShea (fifth, 4:41.22), Ashley Kamin (sixth, 4:44.86) and Kimi Sanden (eighth, 4:48.07).
Jenna Combs placed first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.60.
“Curt hit a personal-best in the hammer, and Akil had a good performance in that event too. Jianna (Williams) was not too far from a personal-best. All of them competed very well in those events. I think our men and women on the teams really looked at today from a bravery standpoint, they braved the elements and had a solid opener,” Forde said.
The Redbirds next compete April 4-5 at Eastern Illinois for the Big Blue Invitational and distance members will travel to Stanford.