Bizzari back in action for women’s track and field

The last time Angela Bizzarri competed in a track and field meet was at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14, when she placed fourth in the 3,000 meters.

This weekend, after nearly a month of lying low, Bizzarri and her distance teammates will compete with the rest of the Illinois women at Arizona State’s Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Ever since the indoor season ended, the distance team has been hard at work practicing, and distance coach Jeremy Rasmussen hopes that the hard work will translate into fast times in its first outdoor meet of the season.

“We want to make sure that we’re prepared for the duration of the outdoor season,” Rasmussen said. “For our group, the best thing for us to do was to go back and get some hard work in and some good quality work in, and we’ve done that for almost four weeks now, and are looking really good in practice.”

The meet features six top-25 teams, including No. 3 LSU and 19 Olympians competing alongside the collegiate athletes. The strong competition is the reason why Rasmussen chose Tempe for the distance squad’s outdoor debut.

“For us, I want to make sure that we take advantage of the opportunities that we get to race, and for us, this is a meet where the distance races are going to be very good,” Rasmussen said.

Bizzarri is looking forward to her race because of the stiff competition and the chance to get back into a 1,500-meter race, her first since last year’s Outdoor Big Ten Championships.

“I’m just really excited I’m running a 1,500, and I haven’t really run one in a while,” Bizzarri said. “I ran the 1,500 at Arizona (State) last year. I know it was really good competition, and it should be the same this year, which is nice. It definitely makes it a lot easier to run fast when you’ve got people to run with.”