Latimer, Ponder lead Illini charge

Latimer, Ponder lead Illini charge

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Aleisha Latimer qualified for two finals and finished eighth in the long jump to lead Illinois' women's track and field team at Saturday's Big Ten Indoor Championships.

Latimer had the best time in the 60 meters (7.4 seconds) and No. 2 time in the 200 (24.41). Both finals are today.

Illinois is eighth among nine teams with 10 points. Purdue leads with 49 points, followed by Wisconsin (37), Michigan (35) and Minnesota (33.33).

Tisha Ponder led the way with a third-place finish in the long jump. Her leap of 19 feet, 6 inches was a season-best by an Illini.

Also qualifying for the finals:

–Kerry Ann Richards, who finished the 60 in 7.44, matching her previous season-best.

–Tara Mendozza, who had the best mile qualifying time (4:54.29) and second-best 600 time (1:34.00).

–Lindsay Martin in the 600 (1:34.91).

–Candace Nicholson in the 800 (2:12.06).

Nicholson, Martin, Shontel Powell and Lindsay Speer finished sixth in the distance medley relay, earning the UI three points.

St. Joseph-Ogden product Jennifer Brown of Indiana finished second in the shot put.

Kierstin Doyle and Amy Spellmeyer took first and second in the pole vault to spark the Boilermakers.