Riley Captures Third Straight Big Ten 60m Hurdles Title
Feb. 27, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior Andrew Riley came away with a three-peat on Sunday at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, winning the 60m hurdles crown for the third year in a row. The Kingston, Jamaica native scored 16 total team points after also reaching the podium with a third-place finish in the 60m at the UI Armory. As a team, Illinois totaled 57 points and placed seventh overall in a loaded field featuring six teams ranked in the USTFCCCA national poll.
"Our guys gave a great effort throughout the weekend," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "We are a really young team, but I was proud of the way we competed. The six teams ahead of us were all ranked in the Top 25, and we almost knocked one of them off. I was happy with the finish, but we are not where we want to be, so we need to continue to improve moving forward."
Riley's victory gave the Illini their second Big Ten champion of the weekend after freshman Matt Bane won the squad's first title on Saturday night in the pole vault. In the 60m hurdles race, Riley pulled away midway through and maintained the advantage through the finish line, clocking a winning time of 7.78. He is the first Illini runner to earn three consecutive titles in an event since Jason Von Swol did so in the 800m from 1999-01.
"Andrew has such great character and integrity," Turk said. "He is just a great athlete, and it's a special thing to see what he does consistently."
Illinois combined to score 10 points in the 60m dash, led by the third-place effort from Riley, who matched his own school record in the event with a time 6.72 for the second day in a row. Junior Stanley Azie clocked a mark of 6.81 and finished sixth while senior Azeez Shogbuyi rounded out the field in eighth place with a time of 6.89. Azie also scored in the 200m, posting a fifth-place finish with a time of 21.73.
"I just wanted to come out and score points for the team today, so I was happy to win again in the hurdles to help our total," Riley said. "We improved from last year and want to keep getting better once we get into outdoor. We have some great young guys who are still learning and competing great for us. My focus now will be on nationals and doing the best I can there."
Freshman Davis Fraker turned in one of the best weight throw series of the day and took third overall in the event with his best throw measuring 67-6 ¾ (20.59m). Senior Matt McHugh also scored in the weight throw, doing so for the first time in his career after placing eighth with a mark of 65-0 ½ (19.82m).
"Davis is a testament to the kind of kids we want to bring into the program here," Turk said. "He left everything in the ring, but he was not happy with getting third because he wanted more. He put up one of the best series of anybody and performed great."
In the triple jump, senior Oz Lifshitz bounded to a fifth-place finish with a season-best mark of 49-3 ½ (15.02m). Illinois' final points of the day came at the end of the meet when the 4x400m relay squad of senior Shane Daniel, sophomore Malcolm Taylor, junior Nic Haab and senior Dan Jones placed seventh with a time of 3:15.73.
A full list of Illinois' Sunday results can be found below along with the final team scores from the meet. No. 20 Minnesota won its third consecutive Big Ten title with 117.33 points, knocking off second-place Indiana (104.50), who entered the meet ranked third in the country. No. 16 Wisconsin (96) took third followed by No. 15 Iowa (88) in fourth, No. 22 Ohio State (86) in fifth and No. 10 Penn State (62.66) in sixth.
The 2011 Big Ten Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships will be aired on the Big Ten Network on Saturday, March 12 at 2 p.m. CT.
Up Next: Illinois will send select athletes to NCAA Last Chance Qualifying meets on March 4-5 before heading to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Championships from March 11-12.
Illinois Sunday Results at Big Ten Indoor Championships
60m Hurdles (FINAL)
High Jump (FINAL)
Big Ten Men's Indoor Championships Final Team Standings