Feb. 5, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior Gakologelwang Masheto of the Illinois men's track and field team was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week for his performances at last weekend's Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, the conference office announced today. This is Masheto's second career conference honor, his last coming in the outdoor season on March 20, 2007.
Masheto became the first Illini to provisionally qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships after posting a time of 47.07 seconds in the 400m final on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Lincoln, Neb, He finished third in the final and ran the second-fastest 400m time to date in the Big Ten after winning Friday's preliminaries.
The Muan, Botswana native also anchored Illinois' 4x400m relay consisting of Eugene Ellis, Gary Miller and Brandon Gray to a second-place finish and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:11.06, the fastest performance in the conference to date.
Masheto has won two individual event titles so far this year, in the 400m on Jan. 19 at the Big Ten/SEC Challenge and in the 600m at the Saluki Fast Start Invitational on Dec. 7, 2007. The two-time All-American will be looking to improve his finish at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships after finishing fifth in the 400m in 2007.
Masheto and the Illini will be back in action this weekend, as they travel to New York, N.Y. for the New Balance Invitational from Friday, Feb. 8 through Saturday, Feb. 9.