April 16, 2008
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois' men's track and field team continues its stretch of top-level meets in competing in the prestigious Kansas Relays from Thursday, April 17 to Saturday, April 19. One of the largest competitions in the country, this year the Illini will participate along with over 3,800 athletes from 300 schools.
The Kansas Relays opened competition today in the heptathlon and decathlon, but the Illini did not have any entrants in the multi-events. Thursday field event action begins at 8:30 a.m., with the running starting at 5 p.m. Field events begin at 8 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday, with running events starting at 9 a.m.
"This week we're looking for intensity, consistency and improvement," head coach Wayne Angel said. "If we can do that, it will bode well into our performances next weekend at the Drake Relays."
Illinois will get a chance to display its 4x400m relay on Saturday against the toughest field of competitors yet. The Illini currently post a season-best time of 3 minutes, 7.98 seconds in the event, which ranks first in the Big Ten and fifth in the NCAA Mideast Region.
Sophomore Dominique Worsley had a pair of stand-out performances last weekend in Tennessee at the Sea Ray Relays, running a wind-aided time of 10.33 seconds in the 100m and posting a season-best and NCAA regional qualifying time of 21.11 in the 200m. Worsley will run the 100m at the Kansas Relays and anchor the Illini 4x100m relay.
With junior All-American Gakologelwang Masheto still recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, junior transfer Yawusa Kinda has ran the fastest 400m time for the Illini this season. Kinda will look to hit the NCAA Regional qualifying standard of 47.20 in the event this weekend after running 47.35 at the Sea Ray Relays.
In the field events, senior Nick Brown is expected to make his outdoor season debut in both the long and triple jumps, while Casey Fonnesbeck will throw the discus and shot put. Junior Andrew Zollner is competing in the "A" section in the pole vault, while sophomore Greg Shroka will aim for another season-best after jumping 6 feet, 8 3/4 inches in the high jump last weekend.
Senior cross country All-American Trent Hoerr and sophomore Jacob Nachel will compete separate from the rest of the team, traveling with distance coach Wendel McRaven to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Nachel is running the University 5,000m on Thursday evening, while Hoerr is slotted to run the Invitational 10,000m on Friday night. The meet will be Hoerr's first time on the outdoor track this year. The senior is looking for a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where he competed in the 10,000m last season and finished 21st.
Next for Illinois is the Drake Relays held April 23-26 in Des Moines, Iowa.