A Look Back at a Great Illini Weekend in Chicago

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With the 2012 football season approaching, thousands of Illini fans came out in full force last weekend at several Illinois and Big Ten events in Chicago. The weekend kicked-off with the Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday and Friday before Friday night's Illini Summer Bash at Joe's Bar. On Saturday morning, the Illini dominated the first-ever Big Ten Network Big 10K road race at Soldier Field and then hundreds of Illini fans packed John Barleycorn and Wrigley Field for the always popular Illini Day at Wrigley. Check out highlights from each event below.

photo 12.JPGIllini Day at Wrigley
Saturday marked the annual Illini Day at Wrigley Field. Over 500+ orange-clad Illini fans packed John Barleycorn for the pre-game party and then cheered on the Cubs as they defeated the division rival St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2. Coach Beckman provided the highlight of the day, serving as guest conductor for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th-inning stretch.

Video: Beckman sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"
Photo Gallery: Illini Day at Wrigley

photo 4[1].JPGBTN Big 10K
Thousands of runners converged on Soldier Field and the Chicago riverfront on Saturday morning for the inaugural BTN Big 10K race. Illinois had by far the most competitors among the Big Ten schools and former Illini runner Dan Kremske won the 10K race in a time of 31:55. After the race, participants tailgated outside Soldier Field in their school colors, with orange dominating the landscape.

Photo Gallery | Race ResultsBTN Big 10K Website

Big Ten Media Days/Kickoff Luncheon
Coach Beckman and three Illini players, QB Nathan Scheelhaase, OL Graham Pocic and DE Michael Buchanan, represented Illinois at the 2012 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel and Conference Center in Chicago on Thursday and Friday. The four Illini answered questions non-stop for two days straight and did a wonderful job representing the University of Illinois. Check out all the coverage from Media Days/Kickoff Luncheon:

Beckman Interviews: Beckman Media Day Presser | Beckman Talks Illinois-PSU Rumors
Player Interviews: Scheelhaase Interview | Buchanan Interview | Pocic Interview  
Photo Galleries: Day 1 | Day 2

Illini Summer Bash at Joe's
On Friday night, July 27, hundreds of Illini fans headed to Lincoln Park for the annual Illini Summer Bash at Joe's Bar on Weed St. Coach Beckman and the entire Illinois football staff were on hand for the event, which is put on by the I Fund and the Chicago Illini Club. CBS2 sports anchor Ryan Baker served as emcee for the night, which was capped by live music by Tyler Farr and Randy Houser. As part of the festivities, the 15th anniversary of the Orange Krush Foundation and their surpassing of $2 million raised for charity was recognized.

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