Women’s success continues

By Chris Cook

Coming off a strong tournament last weekend in Iowa, the Illini women’s track and field team continued on the same note as it won the Illinois Invitational on Saturday at the Armory.

The team showcased its talent by finishing with a total of 185 points, more than twice the amount of second place Illinois State.

“The team is so young and talented,” senior Nina Henson said. “Everyone is able to contribute to the team as a whole.”

Henson and junior Kristina Jones gave Illinois the top two spots in the triple jump event with 12.09 and 12.02 meters, respectively. Henson, however, was skeptical of her own performance.

“I have high expectations for myself and felt overall I could have done a better job,” she said.

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Junior Yvonne Mensah had a big day as she was victorious in the 60m and 200m dashes. Her 7.41 second place finish in the 60 was good enough to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships. She also won the long jump with 6.20 meters.

Like Henson, Mensah was more focused on the team’s performance.

“All around a lot of people had great runs and everybody did their part,” she said. “Of course you try to do as good as you can, but it feels good to know that your teammates are putting in as much as you are.”

One example of a great team effort was the 800m dash as sophomore Rachel Hernandez, junior Cassie Hunt and sophomore Maggie Carroll finished second, third and fourth with times of 2:14.00, 2:14.68 and 2:15.00 respectively.

Elsewhere, sophomore LaNeisha Waller won the 60 meter hurdles (8.61), junior Carlene Robinson took the top spot in 600 meter (1:32.39), while freshman Omoye Ugiagbe won the 400 meter with a time of 56.88 seconds.

“I was very satisfied that I could go all the way in the 400m,” Ugiagbe said. “This is a lot different from high school. There’s more and better competition, but I can get used to it.”