Spencer, Murphy advance at nationals

Spencer, Murphy advance at nationals

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Illinois sophomore Ashley Spencer and junior Samantha Murphy advanced Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Spencer posted the fastest time in her 400-meter heat and the second fastest overall, clocking a school-record 51.55 seconds. Georgia freshman Shaunae Miller had the best time  in 51.14.
In the 800, Murphy was third in her heat, finishing in 2 minutes, 6.14 seconds.
“I’m really proud of all of them,” UI coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. “They represented very well. This is a young group, and for them to run close to their personal best today is a huge accomplishment.”
In the men’s 60-meter hurdles, Illinois’ Vanier Joseph narrowly missed advancing, finishing in 7.77.

In baseball:
Squad rallies for win.
Sophomore Michael Hurwitz slammed a two-run home run  in the first inning and scored the game-winning run in the ninth inning, lifting Illinois to a 4-3 victory against host Baylor on Friday night.
Junior Ronnie Muck won his first game of the season for the Illini (8-4).

In men’s gymnastics:
Illini triumph.
In the first match-play meet in the sport, Illinois defeated Minnesota 21-9.

In women’s gymnastics:
All-arounders shine.
Amber See, Giana O’Connor and Alina Weinstein each scored better than 39.25 in the all-around, leading No. 19 Illinois to a 196.300-194.125 victory against host Missouri.
Weinstein won her fourth all-around title of the season with a 39.425. See and O’Connor each posted a 39.275.

In women’s tennis:
Smutko victorious.
Breanne Smutko won her match at No. 5 singles, but No. 10 Nebraska defeated visiting Illinois 6-1.

In women’s golf:
Tourney delayed.
Heavy rain and other inclement weather delayed the first round of the Clover Cup in Mesa, Ariz.