March 2, 2008
MADISON, Wis. - Gakologelwang Masheto won the 400m and Dominique Worsley broke the school record in the 60m, as the top performers for the Illinois men's track and field team at the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center on Sunday.
Masheto won his fourth career Big Ten title, crossing the 400m finish line in 47.23 seconds and defeating Michigan State's Jeremy Orr, who was second in 47.40. Last season, Masheto took the 600m at the Big Ten Indoor Championships and the 400m and 4x400m relay at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The junior All-American won the event Sunday despite a nagging foot injury, which forced him out of the 4x400m relay.
"We struggled a little bit today as a team but we had a couple guys step up and score some high points for us," head coach Wayne Angel said. "We're a young team and we still have a lot of work to do. We made some definite progress from last year's indoor season and we hope to carry that momentum into outdoor this year."
Worsley timed 6.72 in the 60m, finishing in fourth in the event and breaking the Illinois school record in the process while also provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Championships. The previous Illini best was 6.73, set by Anthony Moorman in 2002. The junior also finished fifth in the 200m with a time of 21.79.
"Overall I'm not happy with my placing, but I can be pleased with my time," Worsley said. "Being injured most of last season, I'm still trying to get my times back down so it's great to accomplish that and get the school record as well."
The Illini finished seventh in the team standings with 55 points. Host Wisconsin totaled 127 points to win its eighth consecutive Big Ten Indoor title, while Purdue (102 points) and Ohio State were second and third.
Transfers Gary Miller and Brandon Gray did their part for the Illini, as Miller ran a career-best 1:19.19 in the 600m to take third and Gray took fifth in the 400m with a time of 48.42. Freshman Josh Gist, also competing in his first Big Ten Championships, was fifth in the 60m hurdles in 8.10.
Illinois had two athletes score points in the field events, as senior Nick Brown was fourth in the triple jump in marking a distance of 50 feet, 6.75 inches. Sophomore Greg Shroka had his strongest showing at a Big Ten Championships, placing fifth in the high jump with a season-best height of 6'9.75".
Illinois will send its athletes with hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Championships to either the Iowa State Last Chance meet or the Notre Dame Last Chance Meet on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9.
ILLINOIS BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS DAY 2 RESULTS
4. Dominique Worsley 6.72
5. Dominique Worsley 21.79
3. Gary Miller 1:19.19
5. Josh Gist 8.10
5. Greg Shroka 6'9.75"
4. Nick Brown 50'6.75"
23. Andy Ward 50'3.25"
24. Matt McHugh 50'
Final Team Standings
1. Wisconsin 127
2. Purdue 102
3. Ohio State 82
4. Penn State 79
5. Minnesota 77
6. Michigan 70
7. Illinois 55
8. Iowa 49
9. Indiana 35
10. Michigan State 26