Jan. 10, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Illinois men's track and field team took home six first-place finishes on Saturday in a dual meet against Iowa, marking the season debuts for the majority of the team. The Illini were led by senior Yawusa Kinda and junior Gary Miller, who each took two event titles. Iowa won the dual, scoring 92 points to Illinois' 77 in the rivalry meet at the University of Iowa Recreation Building.
"It was a really, really good meet," head coach Wayne Angel said. "I like the concept of a dual meet, as it's great for track and field. There were quite a few bright spots today, but we also have some things to work on and we know what we need to do to improve. The score doesn't indicate how competitive the meet was. It was a good experience for the team."
Kinda won the 400m in a time of 48.71 seconds, while Miller took the 600m in a time of 1:20.71. Both also ran in the Illini's first-place 4x400m relay, as the squad of freshman Hendrik Maartens, senior Gakologelwang Masheto, Miller and Kinda ran a time of 3:14.64.
The Orange and Blue also defeated the Hawkeyes in the distance medley relay, as freshman Graham Farnsworth, sophomore Dan Jones, junior Brian Beaird and sophomore Mike Murray timed 10:38.66, easily beating Iowa which finished in 10:55.61.
Junior Casey Fonnesbeck was impressive in the weight throw, marking a personal-best 55-0 ¼ (16.77m) to place first. He now ranks seventh all-time at Illinois in the event. Junior Azeez Shogbuyi was the Illini's final event-winner, with a personal-best leap of 22-11 (6.98m).
Freshman Andrew Riley made his Illini debut by placing second in the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.38, edging out teammate Cody Wisslead who was third in 8.39.
Jones was second in the 200m with an indoor personal-best time of 22.11, while Beaird was Illinois' top finisher in the 800m, finishing second in 1:53.33. Murray was runner-up in the mile in a time of 4:15.43.
Second-place finishes in the field events included junior Greg Shroka in the high jump (6-8 / 2.03m), freshman Roger Jones in the long jump (21-10 ¼ / 6.66m) and freshman Earnest Green in the triple jump (47-6 ¼ / 14.48m).
Illinois will compete at the Kentucky Invitational next weekend, in a tough two-day meet beginning on Friday, Jan. 16.