Kotarak, Bilskie Win as Women’s Track & Field is Fourth at NACC

Kotarak, Bilskie Win as Women’s Track & Field is Fourth at NACC

LISLE, Illinois – Sophomore Jerica Kotarak once again successfully defended her league titles in long and triple jumps and junior Jessica Bilskie won the 400m hurdles as the MSOE women's track & field team finished fourth at the 2017 NACC Outdoor Championships Friday and Saturday at Benedictine University.

The Raiders scored 96.5 team points in the nine-team field, finishing just a half point out of third place. They repeated their fourth-place finish from last season but scored their most points since 2010 (113).

The highlight of Kotarak's weekend was the long jump Saturday, where she reset her own school, league, and league championship records with a jump of 19-3 1/4. That broke her school mark by eight inches. She also won the triple jump on Friday with a leap of 38-2 and remained perfect in the two jumping events at league competitions. Junior Holly Denfeld also scored in the triple jump, taking seventh at 34-2 1/4.

MSOE's other champion was Bilskie, who just missed out on a school record in winning the 400m hurdles. She posted a time of 1:05.88, which is just 0.41 seconds off the program standard. Junior Desy Echevarria was fifth in the event with a time of 1:11.22. Bilskie also scored in the 100m hurdles and the pole vault. In the shorter hurdle event, she ran 15.49, after going 15.40 in the prelims, to take third. She then cleared 9-0 1/4 for eighth in the pole vault.

Bilskie and Denfeld were part of a school-record relay, teaming up with junior Lizzy Hilby, and sophomore Patty Bray for a time of 4:10.55 in the 4x400m relay. That time lowered the standard set last season by 6.06 seconds and put the Raiders fourth in the event. They also scored a fourth-place showing in the 4x100m relay, with Bilskie, Kotarak, Denfeld, and freshman Tyler Webb running 51.60.

Senior Shana Cook had a productive meet, scoring in four different throws events on the weekend. She peaked in the javelin, where she was runner-up with a toss of 114-0. Sophomore Maia Heineck was third with a distance of 111-3. Cook also scored fourth in the hammer throw with at 134-9 and was eighth in both the shot put and discus with throws of 34-0 1/4 and 104-6, respectively.

Heineck also scored in the heptathlon, scoring 3,037 points for fifth place.

The Raiders scored multiple athletes in two more events. Junior Becky Sondelski was another runner-up in the 3000m steeplechase, finishing in 12:05.08 with freshman Rachel Ruona taking sixth in 13:32.08. In the high jump, both freshman Bianca Trombley and junior Rachel Lynde cleared a height of 4-7 1/2. Trombley was seventh and Lynde tied for eighth based on jump attempts.

Hilby rounded out the scoring performances, taking fourth in the 400m. She crossed the line in 1:02.49.

The Raiders will next send a partial squad to last chance qualifiers in the Dr. Keeler Invitational next weekend and the Gregory Invitational May 18-19, both at North Central College.