Illini alum wins DecaNation title
VALENCE, France – Former Illinois women’s track & field standout Gia Lewis-Smallwood (1998-01) set a new American record in the discus at the French-sanctioned DecaNation meet on Saturday. The Champaign, Illinois native won the event with a throw of 69.17 meters (226’ 11”), besting the field by over six meters. Lewis-Smallwood’s toss surpasses the previous American record of 67.74 meters, set by Stephanie Brown-Trafton in the spring of 2012. “It’s really remarkable what she has been able to do,” commented events coach Mike Turk. “It’s really a testament to her work ethic and the support she has from her family and the community.” Lewis-Smallwood, the two-time defending champion in the women’s discus at the USATF Outdoor National Championships, had a previous personal best of 67.59 meters set at the Glasgow Diamond League earlier this year.