Freshman Davis Fraker broke the school record in the weight throw and won the shot put title in his collegiate debut.
Jan. 8, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With his first collegiate throw, University of Illinois freshman Davis Fraker broke the school record in the weight throw, notching a personal-best mark of 66-10 ¾ (20.39m), which ranks third in the NCAA this season, to win the event. The Peachtree City, Ga., native also won the shot put crown while the Illini took home victories in the mile, 3,000m and pole vault, but ultimately fell to Iowa, 83-74, in the season-opening meet on Saturday at the UI Armory.
"Davis is an outstanding athlete," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "He showed today that he's all business. He's mentally very mature, and he will have a big impact on the rest of our team when they see him bring that focus and mental clarity every time he competes."
Fraker, who was the 2010 New Balance high school national champion in the shot put and runner-up in the discus and hammer throw, bested the previous weight throw record of 63-2 ¾ (19.27m), set by Matt McHugh in 2010 at the Carle/Health Alliance Classic, by over a meter. Five of Fraker's six tosses on the day eclipsed the old mark, as he also tallied marks of 19.91m, 19.62m, 19.42m and 19.33m. In the shot put, his mark of 58-4 ¾ (17.80m) took the top spot and ranks as the 10th-best mark in school history.
"It was great to come out and hit that big first throw," Fraker said. "It was about a foot over my PR, which I didn't expect to do on my very first throw, but I was hoping to get around that mark. Training has gone really well this fall, so it's a good feeling to get a couple of wins at the first meet."
Along with Fraker, three other Illini captured event titles at the dual meet. Kyle Engnell won the mile with a time of 4:15.72, as the Illini filled the top three spots in the event thanks to runner-up Dan Kremske (4:15.99) and third-place finisher Jeremy Stevens (4:17.95). Illinois grabbed the top-six places in the 3,000m, led by junior Colin Mickow with a personal-best time of 8:25.30. Nathan Bohne ran nearly a 25-second PR in the 3,000m and came in second behind Mickow. In the pole vault, sophomore Joshua Hodur cleared a height of 15-7 (4.75m) to match his PR and win the event.
Senior Azeez Shogbuyi sprinted to a personal-best time of 6.84 in the 60m dash and placed second followed by junior Stanley Azie (6.86) in third. In the 200m, the pair were flip-flopped in the standings, with Azie (22.22) in second and Shogbuyi (22.31) in third.
In the 600m, junior Nic Haab finished second with a personal-best time of 1:22.25 while sophomore Ryan Lynn had a nice runner-up showing in the 800m with a PR time of 1:52.57. Senior Oz Lifshitz also posted a second-place finish with a bound of 48-10 ¾ (14.90m) in the triple jump. Freshman Shujaa Benson was the top Illini in the 60m hurdles, coming in third with a time of 8.19.
"I really wanted to see how the young guys would compete today," Turk said. "I was very pleased with what I saw even though we didn't get the victory. We were a little conservative in some events and held a few athletes out, but I liked what we did overall."
The Illini men will be in action every Saturday in January at the UI Armory, as they also host the Illini Open (Jan. 15), the Illini Classic (Jan. 21-22) and the Illinois Intercollegiate (Jan. 29).
Illinois-Iowa Dual Team Results
Illinois First Place Finishers
1. Davis Fraker, 66-10 ¾ (20.39m)*
1. Davis Fraker, 58-4 ¾ (17.80m)
1. Kyle Engnell, 4:15.72
1. Colin Mickow, 8:25.30
1. Joshua Hodur, 15-7 (4.75m)