Illinois Wins Six Event Titles at Orange & Blue Open
Feb. 22, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team returned to the UI Armory on Saturday for the Orange & Blue Open, the final meet of the regular indoor season, where six Illini won event titles. Personal-bests were recorded in six events, including David Kendziera clocking the ninth-fastest 60m hurdles time in school history.
"Our competitiveness was very good today," said head coach Mike Turk. "I was very pleased with that. Sometimes when you have some of your top athletes sitting our or not competing it's hard for the young guys to get out there, but I thought they did a really good job of taking the lead and getting after it."
The Illini notched top-two finishes in the 60m dash as Fuad Akinbiyi and Maurice Watkins clocked personal-bests to place first and second, respectively. Illinois also finished one-two in the 60m hurdles, as Cam Viney won the event and David Kendziera placed second with a personal-best time of 7.97, which is also the ninth-fastest time in school history. Zebo Zebe won his second 800m race of the season, while Darius Thomas recorded a personal-best and the top collegiate time in the 600m. Illinois took the top-three spots in the 3,000m run, as Ian Barnett placed first, Paul Zeman finished second with a personal-best and Tommy King placed third. The Illini also finished one-two in the pole vault, with Matthew Bane capturing the event title and Blaze Galardy placing second.
"Our whole team was proud of the performances today," said Turk. "Our guys in the 60m dash, Fuad Akinbiyi and Maurice Watkins, both set personal-bests and ran under seven seconds, which is great for them. Also Cam Viney and David Kendziera ran great in the 60m hurdles. Matt Bane looked really good today and he's making his way back. The biggest thing we're fighting right now is health issues. We have things coming together and I think we're in pretty good shape for next weekend."
The distance medley relay squad traveled to South Bend, Ind. to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational and placed 11th with a season-best time of 9:33.88, the second-fastest time in school history.
The Illini travel to the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend, which take place in Geneva, Ohio on Feb. 28-March 1.
Illinois First-Place Finishes