June 11, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Illinois men's track and field junior Greg Shroka advanced to the high jump final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, successfully bouncing back from a meet delay of over three hours. First-day action at Arkansas' John McDonnell Field was suspended from 7 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. due to severe thunderstorms in the Fayetteville area. The high jump qualifying round was originally scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
Shroka tied for first with 13 other competitors in the qualifying round on Wednesday, clearing 6-10 3/4 on his final attempt to advance. The high jump final will be held on Friday at 7 p.m., with the top eight finishers earning All-America status.
"He made finals on his last jump," head coach Wayne Angel said. "It's great for him to make it in his first time being at nationals. He put himself in a great position to be an All-American. If he performs on Friday how he has throughout the season to get here, he should be fine."
Senior Andrew Zollner closed out his Illinois career in competing in the qualifying round of the pole vault. Zollner tied for 19th by clearing the bar at 16 feet, 8 3/4 inches, failing to clear 17-2 3/4. During his five years at Illinois, Zollner qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships three times in the pole vault, earned All-Mideast Region honors three times and scored in the multi-events at the Big Ten Championships four times. Additionally, Zollner leaves Illinois ranking eighth all-time in school history in the pole vault with a personal-best height of 17-3.
Freshman Andrew Riley will open competition at nationals tomorrow in the first round of the 110m hurdles. He is slotted to run in the fourth and final heat, scheduled to start at 5:50 p.m. CT. Riley will look to advance to Friday's semifinal and repeat his showing from the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he earned All-America honors in the 60m hurdles.
Illinois Wednesday Results at NCAA Championships
Q = Advanced to final
High Jump Qualifying Round
T-1. Greg Shroka............6-10 3/4 (2.10m) Q
Pole Vault Qualifying Round
19. Andrew Zollner............16-8 3/4 (5.10m)
Illinois Remaining Schedule at NCAA Championships
Thursday, June 11
5:50 p.m.............110m Hurdles First Round (Andrew Riley)
Friday, June 12
7 p.m.............High Jump Final (Greg Shroka)
7:05 p.m.............110m Hurdles Semifinal
Saturday, June 13
12:59 p.m.............110m Hurdles Final