Sophomore Davis Fraker set a new hammer throw school record with a mark of 207-3 (63.18) at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge.
March 23, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Illinois' strong performances aided in helping the Big Ten defeat the SEC by a score of 400.5-314.5 at Mississippi State's Carl Maddox Track. In his first meet this season, sophomore Davis Fraker led the way with a first place finish and a new school record in the hammer throw with a mark of 207-3 (63.18m). Fraker's mark also set a new facility record. Senior Kyle Engnell and junior Joshua Hodur were also some of the top Illini point scorers, as they both earned eight points following runner-up finishes. Engnell timed 3:50.62 in the 1,500m and Hodur tied his personal-best jump of 16-0 ¾ (4.90m) in the pole vault.
"I thought we had a really productive day," head coach Mike Turk said. "It was a good opener for us. The guys showed good focus and put up quality performances. Obviously Fraker's school record was a highlight. He hasn't thrown the hammer in a meet in almost two years and broke the record in his first throw."
The Orange and Blue racked up 16 points in the 3,000m after senior Dan Kremske ran a time of 8:19.93 to finish third overall and chipped in six points. Behind Kremske was junior Jordan Hebert (8:20.67) and senior Colin Mickow (8:23.43), finishing third and fourth, respectively. Senior Jim Riddle added two points for the Big Ten as he finished seventh with a time of 8:25.96.
"Kyle Engnell looked great in the 1,500m," Turk said. "He is progressing along in preparation to open in the steeplechase in a couple weeks. It was also good to see cross country national qualifier Jordan Hebert back out there after missing most of indoors."
Illinois' relay teams combined to total seven points on the day. The 4x100m relay squad of freshmen DJ Zahn and Brandon Stryganek, junior Josh Zinzer and senior Stanely Azie took third with a time of 40.20 while the 4x400m relay team of junior Malcom Taylor, sophomore Zebo Zebe and freshmen Gary Ford and Josh Jones finished eighth with a mark of 3:21.23.
"Our sprint and hurdle crew was solid today as well," Turk said. "We got the chance to work in a couple of guys in the 4x100 and Stryganek and Zahn ran well. Stryganek had a great day also running personal bests in the 100 and 200. Gary Ford also took a big step forward with his performances in the long jump and high hurdles."
Azie and Stryganek, Taylor and Jones also scored individually for the conference. In the 100m, Azie finished third (10.39) and earned six points while Stryganek took fifth place (10.59) and garnered four more points. Stryganek also finished third in the 200m with a time of 21.00. Taylor finished third in the 800m (1:54.20) and chipped in six points while Jones added five points with his fourth place finish in a time of 1:54.80.
Ford finished in third place in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.22 while senior Shawn Ledbetter finished seventh (14.81) and recorded 2 points.
In the field events, junior Brett Ramirez and freshman Branden Tanthavong were the next best point scorers behind Fraker and Hodur, gaining five points each after placing fourth in their respective events. Ramirez finished with a mark of 183-6 (55.94m) in the hammer throw and Tanthavong jumped a leap of 46-6 ¾ (14.19m) in the triple jump.
Points were awarded to the conference's top-four finishers in each event using a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring format. A full list of Illinois results from the SEC/Big Ten Challenge can be found below.
Up Next: The Illini will travel to Charleston, Ill., next weekend as they compete in the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic on Saturday, March. 31.
SEC/Big Ten Challenge Standings
1. Big Ten - 400.5
2. SEC - 314.5
Illinois Results at the SEC/Big Ten Challenge
12. DJ Zahn 49.13
3. Dan Kresmske 8:19.93; 6 Big Ten points
4. Jordan Hebert 8:20.67; 5 Big Ten points
6. Colin Mickow 8:23.43; 3 Big Ten points
7. Jim Riddle 8:25.96; 2 Big Ten points
9. Phil Pompei 8:29.08
15. Nathan Bohne 8:47.70
12. Nicholas Haab 54.69
13. Shawn Ledbetter 56.02
4. Branden Tanthavong 46-6 ¾ (14.19m); 5 Big Ten points
7. Brandon Noe 52-0 1(5.85m); 2 Big Ten points