Morris Resets School Record at Meyo Invite
Feb. 2, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The Illini men's track and field team wrapped up competition at the Meyo Invitational and the Armory Collegiate Invitational today with several outstanding performances. Graham Morris highlighted the Meyo Invite, after resetting the school record in the mile while Stephon Pamilton ran well in four races at the Armory Invite.
Just one week after setting the school record in the mile, junior Graham Morris reset his record by three-tenths of a second at the Meyo Invitational. The Lawrenceville, Ill., native led the 'Meyo Mile' on the final lap with 100m remaining, but finished second with a time of 4:00.17. Freshman Luke Carroll also ran in the prestigious race and finished with a mile time of 4:09.85.
"We had a group of guys bounce back after last weekend and turn in quality performances," assistant coach Jake Stewart said. "Graham continues to run well, dictated a lot of the race late and got nipped at the line. We have one more weekend in front of us before we wrap up our regular season and prepare for our indoor championships."
Also performing well at Meyo was senior Kyle Engnell and redshirt-freshman Tommy King in the 3,000m. Engnell finished the race fourth overall with a personal best time of 8:25.51, improving upon his previous personal best of 8:30.85 set in 2011. King also set a new career best after placing sixth in the race with a time of 8:26.62. Sophomore Josh Jones also improved his personal best 800m time, finishing with a time of 1:53.48.
The pole vaulters once again led the Illini squad in the field events. Junior Matt Bane finished first for the Illini and second overall in the invitational heat, after he set a mark of 17-0 3/4 (5.20m). Teammate Cody Klein placed sixth with a mark of 16-6 3/4 (5.05m).
The squad also found success on the final day of the Armory Collegiate Invite today as well. Pamilton advanced to the finals in the 200m, placing eighth with a time of 21.66. After setting a career-best 400m time yesterday in the prelims, the Bourbonnais, Ill., native then finished fourth in the final with a time of 47.22 and ran the fastest split in the 4x400m relay.
"This was an excellent experience for our team," head coach Mike Turk said. "We came in, competed very well with several of the nations elite teams and showed we can respond to a stressful competitive environment with excellent performances. The experience of this meet will pay big dividends for us down the road. Stephon had a monster weekend. He ran and performed well in four races today, two 200s, an open 400 in which he ran a lifetime best and he came back with our fastest split on the 4x400m relay. It was an impressive performance."
Sophomore Brandon Stryganek matched his indoor personal best time in the 200m, finishing sixth with a time of 21.43.
"Brandon is showing he belongs at a higher level," Turk said. "He mixed it up with some great sprinters this weekend. We've come to expect a lot from Brandon and he has stepped up and responded. He is running consistently at his personal best each race. From my experience, thats probably and indication that he is about to break a barrier and drop his time. Brandon is quickly becoming a team leader both on and off the track."
"Our 4x4 relay is on the verge of something big," Turk said. "We are so close right now. We are still learning our personnel and defining the roles. I think we can drop some time in the next couple of weeks and have a chance to get our relay qualified."
"The weight throw was tough for us today," Turk said. "Itwas poorly officiated and there were several delays. The officials missed marked Brett Ramirez's best prelim attempt and that kept him from making the final. Davis was probably a little to pumped up initially and didn't execute very well. However, I am happy with how he responded. He did what he had to do to advance to the final, stayed focused, competed and got his best effort on his last attempt to move up several places. The mark he achieved was just average but the way he kept competing was. Sometimes you have to just compete. He did that."
The Orange and Blue will split again next weekend when some compete at the FloTrack Husky Classic while others will run at the Spire Division 1 Invitational. The Spire Invitational will be ran in Geneva, Ohio and is where the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships will be held. Both meets take place on Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.