Women’s track and field peaking in time for Big Ten Championships

By Cody Westerlund

The Illinois women’s track and field team continued to improve at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, in most of the squad’s last competition before the Big Ten Championships.

Across the board, be it sprinting, distance or field events, the Illini found something to take with them to the Big Ten meet in two weeks.

Sophomore Tamika Robinson continued her string of strong performances, placing second in the 60 meters with a time of 7.53 seconds and third in the 60-meter hurdles (8.43). Robinson’s time in the 60-meter hurdles provisionally qualified for the indoor NCAA Championships for the second time this season.

The 4×400 meter relay also provisionally qualified for the second time. Made up of seniors Omoye Ugiagbe and Deserea Brown, freshman Ryisha Boyd and sophomore Melissa Bates, the squad placed first while finishing with a time of 3:40.61.

On the distance side of things, junior Angela Bizzarri provisionally qualified for the indoor NCAA Indoor Championships in the mile with a time of 4:43.29 that was good for fourth place.

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The top performer in field events was Aja Evans, who placed second in the shot put. Her throw of 52 feet, four inches improved upon her previous season best and provisionally qualified for the second time of the season.

The Illini hope to carry the momentum gained with them to the Big Ten Championships, which run from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1.