4x400m Just Misses All-America Honors at NCAA's
March 10, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The Fighting Illini men's track and field team wrapped up competition at the 2013 NCAA Championships on Saturday night. The 4x400m relay took the track and narrowly missed earning All-America honors at the national meet.
"Once again the 4x400 was heartbreaking," head coach Mike Turk said. "I am proud of our athletes and coaches for the job they have done. We have made great strides in putting a 4x400 relay together that is competitive nationally. That's amazing considering we didn't place in the Big Ten last year. However, it seems like we were just a little off or missing that next step by a small margin all season. That happened to us again today finishing ninth, one spot from scoring and first-team All-Americans. Being eight hundredths of a second off is so close but we just fell short."
The Illini relay squad of sophomore DJ Zahn, senior Malcolm Taylor, freshman Juan Paul Green and junior Stephon Pamilton clocked a time of 3:07.86 to finish third in their heat and ninth overall. The place is just one spot away from earning All-American status. The relay time is the second fastest run during the indoor season.
Arkansas' 4x400m relay won the title with a time of 3:03.50 which set an NCAA meet record. The Razorbacks also won the NCAA team title with 74 total points.
"Overall, we had a respectable meet," Turk said. "We fell short of our goal but we have big goals and no one here wants it any other way. We have a great indoor season. Our program took giant steps forward. I am pleased and appreciative of the effort of our athletes and coaches. I think we learned to believe in ourselves and stick together. We will get a couple of days to recover and then it's team to gear up for the outdoor season.
The Illini will have a week off before they begin the outdoor season as they travel to Starkville, Miss., to compete at the Big Ten/SEC Challenge on March 23.
Illinois Saturday Results at NCAA Indoor Championships