Senior Matt McHugh won the weight throw with a personal-best mark of 66-11 ½ (20.41m) on Saturday at the Illinois Intercollegiate.
Jan. 29, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's track and field team earned state bragging rights on Saturday at the UI Armory, winning 10 event titles and taking the top spot among seven different in-state schools at the Illinois Intercollegiate. The Orange and Blue racked up 255 points, finishing more than 100 points ahead of second-place Eastern Illinois (149). Illinois State (79) took third followed by DePaul (60), Western Illinois (44), SIU-Edwardsville (27) and McKendree (26).
"Overall, we had a solid day and performed pretty well," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "We really came on strong toward the end of the meet and had some great performances, so I was pretty pleased with the effort."
Senior Matt McHugh ended freshman Davis Fraker's undefeated season in the weight throw, as the Exeter, N.H., native tossed a personal-best mark of 66-11 ½ (20.41m) to earn the win. McHugh set a career best for the second week in a row and improved his mark, which is second on the UI all-time list and in the top 10 of the NCAA this season. Fraker was the runner-up in the weight throw with a mark of 66-3 ¾ (20.21m) and third in the shot put with a distance of 56-0 ½ (17.08m).
"Matt and Davis are feeding off of each other," Turk said. "Matt is just starting to realize what his potential is, and it is great to see him to start gaining that consistency. Everything is starting to come together for him, and his confidence is on the rise."
The Orange and Blue went one-two in the 60m hurdles, as junior Andrew Riley (7.95) just crossed the line in front of teammate Cody Wisslead (7.98). In the 60m, three Illini were among the top four, led by Riley in second with a season-best 6.76. Senior Azeez Shogbuyi came in third at 6.87 followed by Stanley Azie in fourth at 6.89. Azie also ran the 200m, placing second with a time of 21.93 while sophomore Josh Zinzer was sixth at 22.77.
"Cody is like a team hero for us," Turk said. "He will do whatever we throw at him, and he keeps getting better. He really is a leader for us."
Senior Shane Daniel returned to action after missing some time due to an illness, but jumped right back into form with a victory in the 400m, edging teammate Dan Jones (49.44) with a time of 48.91. Sophomore Ryan Lynn ran his first 600m of the season and picked up the win with a time of 1:21.03. Fellow sophomore Malcolm Taylor followed close behind in third with a mark of 1:21.27.
"Shane is our workhorse in the 400m," Turk said. "He missed some time earlier with a flu bug, but it's great to have him back and running again."
The Illini distance crew swept their events on the afternoon, with each of the winners notching personal bests. Junior Graham Farnsworth grabbed the top spot in the 800m, timing 1:53.13, while sophomore Jim Riddle finished first in the mile with a time of 4:13.86. Sophomore Kyle Engnell (8:30.85) led a trio of Illini atop the 3,000m standings, as he was followed by juniors Chris DeSilva (8:32.79) and Hunter Mickow (8:37.86). In the 5,000m, sophomore Tom Achtien ran away with the title, clocking a time of 14:45.16.
In the long jump, freshman Shujaa Benson leapt to victory with a bound of 22-11 ¼ (6.99m) while fellow freshman Justin Boone was third at 22-3 (6.78m). Senior Oz Lifshitz took home the triple jump title with a mark of 49-3 (15.01m).
Three Illini placed in the top five in the pole vault, paced by a personal-best height of 16-9 ¼ (5.11m) and runner-up finish from freshman Matthew Bane. Sophomore Josh Hodur also tallied a personal best and finished fourth with a mark of 16-1 ¼ (4.91m) while freshman Cody Klein was fifth at 15-9 ¼ (4.81m).
"Our pole vault crew as a whole is doing outstanding," Turk said. "They are really working well together. Matt is getting on a roll and gaining some confidence."
The Illini closed out the meet with a runner-up finish in the 4x400m relay, posting a season-best time of 3:17.12.
Illinois hits the road next week for its first road meet of the season, as the squad heads to South Bend, Ind., for the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 4-5. The Illini will also be on the road the following weekend at the Tyson Invitational before returning home for the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 26-27 at the UI Armory.
1. Illinois 255
2. Eastern Illinois 149
3. Illinois State 79
4. DePaul 60
5. Western Illinois 44
6. SIU-Edwardsville 27
7. McKendree 26
Illinois First Place Finishers
Shane Daniel, 48.91
Ryan Lynn, 1:21.03
Graham Farnsworth, 1:53.13
Jim Riddle, 4:13.86
Kyle Engnell, 8:30.85
Tom Achtien, 14:45.16
Andrew Riley, 7.95
Shujaa Benson, 22-11 ¼ (6.99m)
Oz Lifshitz, 49-3 (15.01m)
Matt McHugh, 66-11 ½ (20.41m)