Armstrong Blazes To School Record
The University of Illinois men's and women's track and field teams competed at a coed meet today at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Fighting Illini men finished third at the USTCA (United States Track Coaches Association) Challenge with 149 points, behind Florida (221) and Fresno State (161) and ahead of Florida State (134). The women finished fourth with 122 points behind Florida (200), Florida State (160) and Fresno State (134).
For the men's team, sophomore Sherman Armstrong stole the show and blazed his way into the record books by winning the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 50.13 seconds. That time breaks the University of Illinois varsity record in the event, which was held by Champaign native Ben Beyers, who clocked a 50.20 in 1995. Armstrong's time is good enough to automatically qualify him for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 2-5 in Boise, Idaho.
In other men's action, junior Babatunde Ridley also provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet. He won the long jump by leaping a season's best 25'-4 3/4" (7.74m). Senior Bobby True and freshman Jason Van Swol finished one, two in the 800 meters. True finished in 1:50.93 while Van Swol ran a 1:51.02. UI's 4x400 relay squad also ran a season's-best time, finishing second in 3:08.10.
On the women's side, the 4x100-meter relay team took first place with a time of 44.79. The relay's time was a season's best and NCAA provisional mark. Senior Stacy Ann Grant led the team by winning the 400-meter hurdles and the high jump. She captured the hurdles by running 1:00.07 and leaped 5'-10 3/4" (1.80m) to win the high jump. Senior Collinus Newsome also won the shot put with a throw of 49'-8 1/2" (15.15m). Sophomore Joanna Buciarska finished second in the 100-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 13.99.
Illinois will host its only outdoor meet of the season Saturday, May 8, at the UI Outdoor Track and Field Stadium. Running events for the Illini Twilight Meet will be held from 4:30 p.m.- 7 p.m. Admission to the meet is free.