DJ Zahn clocked the seventh-fastest time in school history to place seventh in the 400m.
Feb. 15, 2014
GENEVA, Ohio -- The Illinois men's track and field team competed at two meets this weekend as the distance crew traveled to the Iowa State Classic while the rest of the team competed at the Spire Invitational. Ten Illini set new personal-bests, while three cracked Illinois' all-time top-10 list in their respective events. Illinois recorded 11 top-10 finishes, including seven in the top-5.
"It was one of those meets where it seemed like everything was going against us," said head coach Mike Turk. "Someone gets knocked down, there's a bad foul call, an injury, but I am proud of the way the guys battled and responded with some big performances."
At the Spire Invitational, Vanier Joseph placed second in the 60m hurdles, while Cam Viney placed fifth. Joseph clocked a 7.76 in the prelims, just off of his personal best and currently the fourth-fastest time in the Big Ten, before placing second in the finals with a 7.85. DJ Zahn led the Illini in the 400m dash, placing seventh with a personal-best time of 46.83. The time is the seventh-fastest in program history and the fourth-fastest in the Big Ten this season. Stephon Pamilton placed ninth with a season-best time of 47.06, while Kenneth Allen clocked a personal-best time of 48.20 to place 13th. The 4x400m relay placed second with a season-best time of 3:08.50. DJ Zahn, Kenneth Allen, Cam Viney and Stephon Pamilton currently hold the fourth-fastest time in the conference in the event.
"The 4x4oom relay was a highlight of the weekend, running the 10th-fastest time in the country to date," said Turk. "The relay team is coming together. DJ Zahn matched and battled with one of the nations best 400 runners on the first leg. Cam Viney ran probably the best leg he has run since the NCAA Championships last spring. Freshman Kenneth Allen did a great job keeping us in the front of the pack on the third leg. He's growing up quickly. Stephon Pamilton finally showed what a quality 400 guy he is running a 45.6 anchor. D Zahn also ran a personal-best in the 400m. He's been the glue for our sprint crew again this season. Vanier Joseph had another solid day in the hurdles. He has been really good the last couple of weeks and I think he's ready to put up a big performance at conference."
In the field events, Blaze Galardy led the pole vault crew with a fourth-place finish. His mark of 4.98 is a personal-best. Matthew Bane also reached a mark of 4.98m, a season-best, to place sixth. Brandon Carrel competed in the unseeded section of the pole vault and placed fifth. Davis Fraker threw a mark of 20.54m, tying his season-best, to place third in the weight throw, while Branden Tanthavong placed fifth in the triple jump with a season-best mark of 15.04m.
"Two up-and-comers really battled through for personal-best performances in the field events," said Turk. "Brandon Tanthavong endured a long competition and had a season-best on his last attempt in the triple jump. He moved way ahead and showed he is in position and capable of scoring for us at Big Tens. Our pole vault crew has been banged up all year and Blaze Galardy has taken advantage of the opportunity to step up and also show he can contribute at Big Tens. That's the attitude and spirit we need!"
The distance crew had a very successful weekend at the Iowa State Classic, starting with the 5,000m run on Friday night. Jordan Hebert shaved 13 seconds off of his personal-best time and clocked a 14:01.33, the fourth-fastest 5,000m time in school history, to place 11th. Jannis Toepfer also cracked Illinois' all-time top-10 list in the event, placing 13th with a time of 14:03.46, the seventh-fastest time in school history. Liam Markham placed 10th in the mile run with a time of 4:04.04.
Illinois Top-10 Finishes
Pole Vault (unseeded)
5. Brandon Carrel, 14-7 1/4 (4.45m)
3. Davis Fraker, 67-4 3/4 (20.54m)
5. Branden Tanthavong, 49-4 ¼ (15.04m)
Iowa State Classic
10. Liam Markham, 4:04.04