Illinois and Minnesota Garner Weekly Accolades

Jan. 25, 2010

The conference office announced on Monday the third weekly women’s indoor track and field honors for meets through January 18-24. Illinois’ Melissa Bates took home the weekly track laurel and Minnesota’s Alicia Rue collected her second consecutive Field Athlete of the Week award of the season.

Track Athlete of the Week:
Melissa Bates, Illinois
Jr. - Grand Prairie, Texas - Bowie

Junior sprinter Melissa Bates posted three top-finishes, highlighting a successful day for Illinois as the Orange and Blue played host to the Carle/Health Alliance Classic at the UI Armory. Bates took first place in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay, nearly winning half of Illinois' seven event titles at the meet. Bates began the day by cruising to the 400m title and provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships, clocking a 54.74 to better the second-place finisher by over 1.5 seconds. In the 200m, Bates turned in an impressive early-season time of 24.61, just 0.01 seconds off of her indoor personal-best of 24.60. Finally, the Grand Prairie, Texas native anchored the 4x400m relay of sophomores Jayla McArthur, Ashley Kelly and Ryisha Boyd to first place with a time of 3:47.10. This is the first weekly accolade in Bates’ indoor career and the first-ever indoor track laurel for Illinois since the Big Ten began differentiating between the two fields in 2007.  

Last Illinois Indoor Athlete of the Week: Yvonne Mensah (Jan. 31, 2006)
* In 2006, the Big Ten selected one overall Athlete of the Week for Indoor Track and Field.

Field Athlete of the Week:
Alicia Rue, Minnesota
Sr. - Plymouth, Minn. - Armstrong

Senior Alicia Rue continued her assault on the Minnesota record book bettering her own school record and University Fieldhouse record in the pole vault, clearing 14 feet, 4 1/2 inches at the Jack Johnson Classic. The winning effort marked her third straight individual title on the year as she improved her previous standard by half an inch. The height was Rue’s third NCAA automatic qualifying performance of the season and her seventh meet clearing over 14 feet. The Plymouth, Minn., native picks up her second weekly indoor field laurel in 2010 and her seventh overall.

Last Minnesota Field Athlete of the Week: Alicia Rue (Jan. 18, 2010)