Bizzarri takes home silver at Nationals

By Daniel Johnson

Although she may have come up just one runner short of winning the national championship in the 5,000-meter run, sophomore Angela Bizzarri finished Friday as the new school-record holder in the event.

Bizzarri ran a 15:46.08 clip, breaking Jamie Turilli’s previous mark of 16:13.53, set in 2005. The time was also a career-best for Bizzarri.

“I’m so excited,” Bizzarri said in a press release. “I was just hoping to be an All-American and run with the top pack. Honestly, I would have been happy to finish in the top eight. The race went better than I could have hoped or expected. I was just in the mindset to enjoy the race and see how it went. I was in the mood to run.”

The race made Bizzarri a three-time All-American this year alone: Once for cross country and once during the indoor season, and the fourth time overall in her career.

“She probably ran the smartest race of the year,” distance coach Jeremy Rasmussen said. “I’m super excited for her. She put in a lot of work this season. With this year being her first running the 5,000 meters, I think she’s found her niche. Going into the race we knew she was going to be one of the fastest individuals. I told her to give herself a shot. With about six laps to go, she was in the third pack and saw four girls in front of her break away and she immediately broke ahead to catch up, which set her up to finish as well as she did. She came off the track grinning from ear to ear.”

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Bizzarri’s result was far and away the best finish for Illinois on the weekend, with steeplechase runners Danelle Woods and Chantelle Groenewoud finishing 15th and 22nd, respectively, in their event. Senior Briana Cunningham took 22nd, as well, in the 400-meter hurdles. Taking 22nd in the shot put was Illini sophomore Aja Evans with a distance of 14.95 meters.

LaNeisha Waller finished her Illinois career, taking 13th in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.60 seconds.