March 1, 2008
MADISON, Wis. - The Illinois men's track and field team advanced five runners to tomorrow's event finals, but had a sub-par day in field events on the first day of competition at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the University of Wisconsin Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center on Saturday.
The Illini's highest placing on day one was the distance medley relay of Brian Beaird, Dan Jones, Scott Phelps and Mike Murray taking fourth with a time of 10 minutes, 1.13 seconds (10:01.13). Senior Nick Brown was sixth in the long jump with a mark of 23 feet, 10.75 inches, while Trent Hoerr took seventh in the 3,000m with a time of 8:22.47.
Illinois currently stands in eighth place with 10 points and five events final out of 17. Host Wisconsin has the lead with 41 points, and is followed by Minnesota (34) and Purdue (32).
"Our field event athletes had a rough day," head coach Wayne Angel said. "We anticipated scoring more points in those events than we did, but this is track and field and things happen. Fortunately we have a lot of people running in events tomorrow, so we hope to make a strong push."
Junior All-American Gakologelwang Masheto hopes to lead the way for the Illini tomorrow after running the top time in the 400m preliminaries (47.92). Sophomore Brandon Gray also advanced to the 400m final, finishing third in prelims with a time of 48.40.
Junior Dominique Worsley will run twice on Sunday after placing fifth in the 60m preliminaries (6.75) and eighth in the 200m prelims (21.99). Freshman Josh Gist fared well competing in his first Big Ten Championships, advancing to the 60m hurdles final after running 8.13 in the semi-finals. Junior Gary Miller took seventh in the 600m prelims with a personal-best time of 1:19.35 to conclude the Illini's finals qualifiers.
Illinois had two athletes just miss the scoring column on Saturday, as senior Pierre Bush was ninth in the long jump (23'5.25") and sophomore Casey Fonnesbeck was ninth in the shot put (56'4"). The top eight finishers score points toward their team score.
The Big Ten Indoor Championships will conclude tomorrow at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center. Field events begin at 10:20 a.m., with the running events starting at 1 p.m.
ILLINOIS BIG TEN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 1 RESULTS
7. Trent Hoerr 8:22.47
Shot Put (FINAL)
9. Casey Fonnesbeck 56'4" (17.17m)
7. Gary Miller 1:19.35 Q
60m Hurdles (Semi-Finals)
8. Josh Gist 8.13 Q
15. Cody Wisslead 8.34
Team Standings After Day 1 (5 events scored of 17)
1. Wisconsin 41
2. Minnesota 34
3. Purdue 32
4. Michigan 21
5. Iowa 20
6. Ohio State 13
7. Penn State 11
8. Illinois 10
9. Michigan State 7
10. Indiana 6
Q = qualified for Sunday's event final