Illinois Notches 12 Event Victories at Illini Open
Jan. 15, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's track and field team turned in several solid performances on Saturday at the Illini Open and won a total of 12 event titles at the UI Armory. Freshman Davis Fraker won a pair of events for the second-straight week while junior Andrew Riley took the top spot in the 60m hurdles in his season debut. The Illini competed against athletes from Butler and St. Louis along with open and unattached competitors.
"I saw a lot of progress from our team, so there was a lot to like today," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "We had a lot of really good performances and quite a few improvements from last week. It would have been easy for our guys to look past this meet to the bigger invitationals coming up, but they took it seriously and competed well."
For the second week in a row, Fraker won the weight throw and shot put, giving him four victories in two meets to begin his Illini career. The Peachtree City, Ga., native reached a distance of 63-1 ¼ (19.23m) in the weight throw and followed it up with a mark of 55-3 ¾ (16.86m) in the shot put.
"We trained pretty hard this week, so the marks weren't as good as last week, but they were solid," Turk said. "Davis brought good energy to the table and did a nice job overall."
Riley won the 60m hurdles with ease, clocking a 7.95 to win his first race of the year. The Kingston, Jamaica native also was the runner-up in the 60m dash with a time of 6.80. In the 200m, junior Stanley Azie was the only racer to break 22 seconds, recording a time of 21.96 to pick up the victory.
The Illini swept the middle distance and distance races, which included a photo finish in the mile. Sophomore Tom Achtien timed a personal-best 4:16.31 and edged teammate Nathan Bone, who ran a personal-best 4:16.33, by two-hundredths of a second. Sophomore Malcolm Taylor (1:23.04) won the 600m, junior Graham Farnsworth (1:54.34) finished first in the 800m and freshman Drew Bell ran away with the 3,000m title with nearly a 16-second victory and time of 9:08.58.
Turk was pleased with the marks from the field events as well. Freshman Cody Klein cleared a height of 16-2 ¾ (4.95m) to win the event and finish just ahead of teammates Joshua Hodur and Matthew Bane, who tallied marks of 15-11 (4.85m). In the long jump, a pair of Illini freshmen took the top two spots after improving their marks from last weekend. Shujaa Benson was first with a personal-best leap of 23-4 (7.11m), and Justin Boone came in second with a bound of 22-3 (6.78m). Senior Oz Lifshitz also out-jumped his mark from last week with a mark of 49-3 (15.01m), which won the triple jump.
Next week, the Orange and Blue will be back in action at the UI Armory for the Illini Classic on Jan. 21-22.
Illinois First Place Finishers