March 11, 2009
2009 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Friday, March 13 - Saturday, March 14
Texas A&M // College Station, Texas // Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center
Senior Gakologelwang Masheto (400m) and freshman Andrew Riley (60m hurdles) will compete for the Illinois men's track and field team this weekend at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships. The meet is hosted by Texas A&M and will take place on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 in College Station, Texas at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center. Masheto and Riley could be two of the most exciting athletes in the championships, ranked first and third in their respective events heading into the weekend. Both athletes won Big Ten indoor titles this year and also set an Illinois school record in their signature event. Masheto will be looking to bring home his third career All-America honor in the 400 meters, with a season-best time of 45.80 that is the top time in the world this season. Riley is no stranger to top competition either, as a three-time Jamaican National Champion. Both athletes will compete in event prelims on Friday afternoon, with finals to take place on Saturday.
The meet will be streamed live on ESPN360.com throughout the championships, and will be aired tape-delayed on ESPN2 on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Illinois Schedule at the NCAA Indoor Championships
Friday, March 13
4:45 p.m. 60m Hurdles Prelim (Riley)
5:15 p.m. 400m Prelim (Masheto)
Saturday, March 14
5:30 p.m. 60m Hurdles Final
5:50 p.m. 400m Final
Head Coach Wayne Angel on the NCAA Indoor Championships
"I believe that Masheto and Riley's chances of becoming All-Americans are very strong. They have competed against this type of competition before so it is nothing new. They are ranked first and third in the country in their respective events, and their successful season has created a boost of confidence. Shoes (Masheto) is very fit and capable of doing something spectacular in the right conditions and circumstances. He just needs to trust his training and execute his strategy to the best of his ability. I am very impressed with Andrew (Riley)'s competitive maturity. He competes as if he were a senior with years of experience. If he continues to focus on the things he does well and competes at the level he has the past two weeks, he will be very successful."
Fighting Illini Competitors
Gakologelwang Masheto, 400m (Sr., Muan, Botswana)
Heads into the championships ranked first in the 400m with a time of 45.80 ran last weekend at the Iowa State NCAA Qualifier ... That performance is also the fastest in the world in 2009 and reset his own 400m indoor school record ... Two-time All-American (400m indoor and outdoor in 2007) ... Won his fifth career Big Ten title at the 2009 indoor championships, taking the 400m in 46.67 ... Also took fourth in the 200m (21.36, personal-best) at Big Ten's and anchored the 4x400m relay to a runner-up finish ... Won the 500m title at the New Balance Invitational in New York for the second consecutive year ... Placed fifth in the 400m at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships ... Did not compete at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships due to injury ... Represented Botswana at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, competing in the 400m ... Holds three school records at Illinois .. Goes by `Shoes'.
Indoor Career Best in 400m: 45.80
Andrew Riley, 60m Hurdles (Fr., Kingston, Jamaica)
Ranked third in the country in the 60m hurdles and is the only freshman in the hurdles field at the NCAA Indoor Championships ... Ran a career-best time of 7.72 in the hurdles to win the title at the Big Ten Championships, also breaking the Illinois school record in the event ... Did not arrive on campus until January ... Dropped his hurdles time in five consecutive meets, running 8.38 in his first meet with the Illini and eventually setting the school record in the event (7.72) ... Also competes in the high jump for Illinois ... Three-time Jamaican National Champion, with two heptathlon titles and one high jump title ... Silver medalist in the heptathlon at the 2007 Carifta Games in the British West Indies.
Indoor Career Best in 60m Hurdles: 7.72