Several Redbirds set new personal-best marks on Friday
Jan. 29, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Sophomore Aisha Praught started the day off well for the Illinois State track and field teams on the first day of competition at the Indiana Relays with a win in the women’s mile against a tough field at Gladstein Fieldhouse on the IU campus Friday night.
Praught’s personal-best time of 4:57.23 bested the field in the mile and gave momentum to several of her teammates, who also set personal-best performances. Head coach Elvis Forde was impressed with Praught’s performance and thought it was a solid start to a competitive day by the Redbirds.
“From top to bottom, I thought our team performed admirably today in the first day of competition,” Forde said. “Aisha ran a personal-best and that really got the team motivated. Several other athletes went on to set new personal-best marks on the day and that should lead into a strong day of competition tomorrow.”
The Redbirds fared well in the distance events on day one, as Jess Husted ran to an eighth-place finish in the mile with a time of 5:04.22. In the 3,000 meter run, freshman Sam Bluske set a new personal-best with a time of 10:13.39 to finish in third place, while teammates Olivia Myers (10:22.28) and Kirsten Lang (10:28.19) finished in seventh and ninth places, respectively, in the 3,000 meter invitational run.
The team of Praught, Meaka Brents, Sade Sealy, and Husted took second place in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:51.12 to round out a successful day on the track. Brents also placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25:23 and qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash on Saturday.
Tori Ziegler (57’01.50″) set a new personal-best in the weight throw to finish in fourth place and teammate Brittany Smith (56’05.75″) was right behind in sixth place. In the shot put, Martha Shepard set a new personal-best with a heave of 44’07.50″ and Rachelle Harbert tied for eighth place in the pole vault with a height of 10’06.00″.
Not to be outdone, the men’s team also shined in the distance events. Matt Mroczynski set a new personal-best in the mile with a time of 4:12.05 to finish in fifth place, with teammate Jon Roberts right behind in sixth place in 4:12.37. Roberts then teamed up with Steve Regan, Tyler Perna and Patrick Morgan to form the distance medley relay team that finished in third place with a time of 10:12.12. Elsewhere on the track, Yosef Tewolde (1:20.84) and Mat Smoody (1:21.27) finished in third and fourth places, respectively, in the 600-meter invitational and the duo of Josh Pope and Alex Forde qualified for the finals in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.
In the field events, Michael Ziegler tied for sixth place in the pole vault with a height of 13’11.25″ and Colin Fane placed eighth in the shot put with a toss of 50’03.50″. Ben Pratt was seventh in the long jump (21’05.50″) and ninth in the triple jump (44’07.00″), while teammate Tyler Knight set a new personal-best in the triple jump (47’05.00″) to finish in seventh place and placed 12th in the long jump with a distance of 20’09.75″.
Action resumes on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. CT on the track with the women’s 200-meter dash and field events will begin at 11 a.m. with the women’s invitational long jump.