|ISU distance and throwers earn PRs at Drake Relays|
|Written by Ashley Schrader, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:48|
Despite cold temperatures and winds up to 25 mph in Des Moines, Iowa, the ISU men’s and women’s track and field teams found success at the 103rd Drake Relays in the two-day event this past weekend.
The Redbird women’s distance medley team created a stir when it came from behind with a sprint finish to earn first place among some of the nation’s best competitors.
The team of Kristen Zillmer, Sade Sealy, Jil Kerkman, and Aisha Praught rallied together for a time of 11:19.14 to break the ISU school record.
“Anytime you can win at the Drake Relays, it’s something special,” ISU head coach Elvis Forde said. “These ladies put together one of the finest races I have seen in my tenure at Illinois State, and this is something they will always remember. Everyone generally puts together their best distance relay to run at Drake, and to come out on top, that is saying something about our distance women. This is something that can never be taken away from them.”
Also breaking a Redbird school record was women’s thrower Brittany Smith, who took second in the hammer throw with a toss of 214’02.” She also took second in the shot put with a throw of 57’05,” before taking seventh in the discus with a mark of 171’10.”
Also in throws, javelin throwers Tim Glover (229’10”) and Leigh Petranoff (165’10”) had to face winds head on, each taking second place.
“Our throwers had it tough today with the conditions they were faced with,” Forde said. “They not only had to go up against the nation’s best today, but they had to battle the tough winds throughout every throw.
“I think the javelin throwers had it the worst, but they all put forth solid efforts. We can build off these performances and carry them over into the conference meet in two weeks.”
On the track, Elise Sigg flew solo running a career-best 3,000-meter steeplechase time of 10:30.88 for seventh, while Jon Roberts also went solo in the men’s 10,000-meter run for a personal-best of 31:08.52.
In the relay events, the women’s 1,600-meter sprint medley team of Shandel Ellis, Printassia Johnson, Alia McAfee, and Ruth Allen took seventh for a time of 3:59.29.
The men’s 1,600-meter sprint medley team of Nathan Schreiber, Ben Sparkman, Coty Kramer, and Mat Smoody finished in 11th with a time of 3:26.72.
The Redbirds will compete at the Billy Hayes Invite May 4 in Bloomington, Ind., before traveling to Wichita, Kan., May 11-13 for the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.