Senior Kyle Engnell and the distance medley relay team earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
March 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Fighting Illini men's distance medley relay highlighted day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships, earning All-America honors. Junior's Vanier Joseph and Stephon Pamilton also competed at the national meet for the first time as an Illini.
"We ended the day on a high note for sure," head coach Mike Turk said. "Getting seventh in the distance medley relay was a huge step forward for our program. The guys ran with heart, they ran smart and ran as a team. All four guys were outstanding."
The squad of senior Kyle Engnell, junior Stephon Pamilton, junior Ryan Lynn and senior Graham Morris finished seventh overall with a time of 9:35.56. The group earns All-America honors for the first time, finishing in the top-eight. The relay started with Engnell running the 1,200m leg in a split of 2:57 while Pamilton ran the 400m leg next, with a time of 46.53. Lynn ran the third leg with an 800m split of 1:50 while Morris finished the race with a 1,600m spilt of 4:01.
"Kyle was especially impressive in his lead off leg. His performance was critical because he put us in position to succeed. Kyle is a fifth year senior with no outdoor eligibility. He has been with us through the darkest of days in the program. He stuck with the program and it paid off with an All-American award is his final collegiate race. Ryan's 800 leg was once again the glue that kept everything together. Graham put us in good position. He competed with the best in the country and really stepped up. He made a great move with 3.5 laps to go when there was a little mix up in front of him. He was able to adjust and avoid the mess of the team stumbling in front of him."
Joseph finished the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.77, just off his personal best. The time is Joseph's second best time this season. Pamilton finished 13th overall in the 400m with a time of 46.78.
"Vanier ran a really solid race and was so close to making the final. We need to continue to work on his start. He was a little behind through four hurdles then closed hard. I feel good about his performance and am really looking forward to watching him compete outdoors. Stephon had the ability to make the final but was a victim of his own inexperience. He made a couple mistakes in his race. He still was in the hunt but got himself boxed in on the last turn. He learned from it. I think he's even more determined for the 4x400m tomorrow.
A full list of Illinois' Friday results can be found below. Tomorrow, the 4x400m relay will look for NCAA success as they wrap up action from University of Arkansas.
Illinois Friday Results at NCAA Indoor Championships
60m Hurdles (prelim)
11. Vanier Joseph, 7.77
13. Stephon Pamilton, 46.78