The University of Illinois senior will be competing this weekend in Texas in the NCAA West Regional women’s track meet, and the top qualifiers at that event will advance to the NCAA National Championships next month in Eugene, Ore.
Richartz, a 2010 Carmel graduate whose family lives in Island Lake, is heading to the West Regional in peak form as she just won the Big Ten Conference title by clearing 14-feet-4, a league meet record outdoors.
That vault also erased the Illinois school outdoor record that she established earlier this season.
During her career at Illinois, Richartz won the conference outdoor title three times and the indoor title twice.
On Illinois athletics websitehttp://www.fightingillini.com, coach Ron Garner said this about the senior:
“Illinois women’s track and field has an incredible history but I don’t know of any event along the way where somebody has gone into competitions and established new standards like Stephanie has.
“Her mark is not just on Illinois, but also on the Big Ten Conference. What she has done is huge but I don’t think she has reached the peak yet. I believe this next month is going to be the best yet. I believe she will only get better the more she jumps, the more meets she goes to and the more opportunities she has.”
In March, Richartz cleared 14-7.25 at the NCAA Indoor National Championships, good for third place. Sandi Morris of Arkansas won by clearing 15-1.
Away from Illinois, Richartz also has competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and also was on the 2012 U.S. Team that competed in the NACAC international under-23 meet.
NACAC stands for North American, Central American and Caribbean.
Lake Forest graduate and Indiana Tech freshman Carly Schmidt is an NAIA national track champion after she won the pole vault at the national meet last weekend in Alabama.
Schmidt cleared 12-feet-7.5 to win by four inches. She cleared the height on her third and final attempt, but even if she had missed, she would have won at 12-3.5 on fewer misses.
The NAIA record in the pole vault is 13-7, and that record has stood for 15 years.
Schmidt committed to Auburn University when she was in high school, but left that school during her first year there and landed at Indiana Tech, an NAIA power in both men’s and women’s track.
Lakes grad Mia Bennett and Deerfield graduate Allie Boudreau competed last weekend at the NCAA Division III women’s track championships.
Bennett, a freshman at Carthage College in Kenosha, qualified for nationals in the discus, while Boudreau, a senior, ran anchor on Illinois Wesleyan University’s 1,600-meter relay team.
Bennett finished 20th overall, throwing 124-feet-2 in his first attempt, but then settling for that distance when she fouled on her final two throws. The winning distance was 173-11.
In the 1,600 relay, IWU finished 13th in qualifying with a time of 3:52.19 and didn’t advance to the finals.
Grayslake Central grad Will Brewster is now a long-distance runner at the University of Illinois.
This season, his best times were 8:33 in the 3,000 meters, 14:38 for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles), and 30:49 for 10,000 meters (6.2 miles).
Brewster has two more years of eligibility at Illinois. He also runs on the Illini cross country team.
Warren graduate Martin Martinez has wrapped up his sophomore season running track at Brown University in the Ivy League.
In the recent conference meet, he ran the 1,500 meters and took eighth with a time of 3:56.4, which is the equivalent of a 4:15 mile.
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