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Women's track and field team group photograph

Track and Field finish strong at MVC Championship

Sydney Laufenberg (discus) and Amanda McClain (400-meter) each won Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) titles May 14 to help the Illinois State women’s track and field team earn second place, with 137 points, at the 2017 MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.

The Redbird men’s 4×100 relay team also won a Valley championship, and the Redbird men finished fifth overall, with 96 points, which is Illinois State’s highest score since earning 97 points in 2010. Illinois State’s women’s team recorded its highest finish since also earning second in 2012. Wichita State won both the men’s (181.50) and women’s (226) 2017 MVC team titles.

McClain led Illinois State’s scoring effort and ranked fifth in the league with 20 points. She scored 10 points by winning the 400m (54.19), eight points by finishing second in the long jump (19-09.00) and two points for helping the 4×400 relay team earn second (3:40.74). McClain’s 400-meter title was the Redbird women’s first since 2013.

Laufenberg recorded a personal-best throw of 169-07 to earn Illinois State’s first MVC women’s discus title since 2009. Morgan Keller finished third in the event by throwing 157-04. Brandy Thomas won the women’s shot put title and Keller was runner-up.

Illinois State’s men’s 4×100 relay team defended its 2016 title, as Dion Hooker, Deshaun Jordan, Andy Hatch and Derrius Rodgers teamed up to run a 40.45. Along with anchoring the 4×100 relay, Rodgers led the men’s team in scoring and ranked sixth in the MVC with 18.50 points by placing second in the 100-meter (running a personal-best 10.26 to score eight points) and finishing third in the 200-meter (20.74 for six points). Additionally, Rodgers anchored the 4×400 relay team, which finished second (3:11.06).

By leading all freshmen in scoring, Rogers was named MVC Freshman of the Year. On the women’s side, Illinois State’s D’Jenne Egharevba also garnered Valley Freshman of the Year accolades. Egharevba tied for 10th in the MVC by scoring 14.25 points for the women’s team, including six points with a third-place finish in the 100-meter (11.49), five points with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter (23.89), and two points and 1.2 points in the 4×400 relay and the 4×100 relay, respectively.

Jaylan McConico, who finished third in the men’s 110 hurdles with a person-best time of 13.91, joined Laufenberg, McClain, Rodgers, Egharevba and Keller as the recipient of one of seven All-MVC accolades earned by Redbirds.

With the MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship complete, qualifying Redbirds will next compete in the NCAA West Preliminary, May 25–27, in Austin, Texas. A complete list of qualifiers will be posted at GoRedbirds.com.

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