|’Birds bounce back at Wisconsin Invite|
|Written by Kristi Demonbreun, Sports Editor|
|Monday, 21 January 2013 14:47|
The Illinois State track and field team bounced back after a slow start to the season at Indiana State last weekend. The Redbirds competed Jan. 19 at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational in Madison.
“Overall, we did a lot better than we did a week ago,” head coach Elvis Forde said. “This weekend made last weekend realistic, as it was the first meet back from break. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but as a team, we walked away feeling much better this week.”
The week of practice following the Indiana State meet seemed to refresh the No. 25-ranked women’s team, as it finished in the top three in several events throughout the day.
Senior Brittany Smith kicked off the field events with a first-place finish in the weight throw (68’02.25”) and a third place finish in the shot put (52’11.50”).
Sophomore Amy Harvoth placed second in the high jump (5’04.25”), and senior Kendall Rush fell just short of Northern Iowa’s Emily Wandling in the triple jump. Rush finished in second place with a jump of 36’04.25”, while Wandling took first place with a jump of 36’04.75”.
“Brittany Smith, as usual, had a good weekend and is keeping her consistency, which is key,” Forde said. “Amy Harvoth looked great in the high jump. If we can get her rolling, we will be better off come conference.”
The women’s sprint team showed off its speed, with Printassia Johnson and Sade Sealy leading the way. Johnson recorded two first place finishes in the 60-meter dash (7.82) and the 200-meter dash (25.39). Sealy took first place in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:32.11.
“Sade Sealy looked fantastic in the 600-meter run. She can go much faster if she was challenged, but she is progressing right along schedule this season,” Forde said.
Kimberly Christensen and Ashley Kamin had strong performances in the one mile run. Christensen posted a first place finish and a personal best with a time of 5:05.96, followed by Kamin with a time of 5:09.03.
Sophomore Kelly McShea and junior Kristen Zillmer followed suit in the 3,000-meter run. McShea came out on top with a time of 9:58.42, but not without trouble from Zillmer who was right behind her at 9:58.46.
“Kelly McShea and Kristen Zillmer in the 3,000-meter run really excited us. They didn’t extend themselves too far, and they ran well,” Forde said.
Although the women’s team had a successful meet, the men’s team struggled to keep up.
Top performers of the day include Thomas Jean and Kevin Fisch in the pole vault. Both recorded career marks, with Jean taking third place (15’09.00”) and Fisch finishing in fourth place (15’05.00”).
“Pole vaulters Thomas Jean and Kevin Fisch looked very solid,” Forde said. “Coach Barnes has been working hard with them, and they continue to improve each week.”
On the track, junior Coty Kramer was the only athlete from the men’s team to finish in the top five. He ran a season-best time of 50.08 in the 400-meter dash putting him in fourth place.
The ’Birds will be in action again at the Redbird Invite Saturday in Horton Field House.