Senior Mike Murray won the 5,000m with a personal-best time of 14:55.93.
March 27, 2010
ATLANTA, Ga. - The Illinois men's track and field team picked up three event titles on Saturday at Georgia Tech's Yellow Jacket Invitational, with one in the hurdles and two in distance events at the squad's first meet of the outdoor season. Junior Cody Wisslead won the 400m hurdles, sophomore Kyle Engnell took home the 3,000m steeplechase crown, and senior Mike Murray captured the 5,000m title at the George C. Griffin Track.
"It was nice to get the rust off at this meet, and we seemed to get better with each race," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "None of these athletes had competed since Big Ten indoors, so it was nice to get them back into competition."
Wisslead timed 52.33 to pick up the hurdles victory after missing much of the indoor season due to illness. Engnell, who was a Big Ten scorer as a freshman in the steeplechase, dominated his race, winning by over 18 seconds with a time of 9:15.65, and Murray also easily won the 5,000m with a personal-best time of 14:55.93.
"Cody ran his fastest opener in the 400m hurdles and looked really comfortable," Turk said. "Mike Murray and Kyle Engnell both ran dominant races and were pretty impressive. They all got off to good starts to set themselves up for the season."
The foursome of juniors Dan Jones and Shane Daniel and freshmen Bai Kabba and Malcolm Taylor notched a runner-up finish in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:13.68. Senior Brian Beaird also turned in a second-place showing while running a personal-best time of 3:54.93 in the 1,500m.
In the 400m, Jones (48.87) led the way with a fifth-place finish while Daniel (49.18) and Kabba (49.39) placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Sophomore Stanley Azie finished sixth in the 100m dash with a personal-best time of 10.68 followed closely behind by senior Azeez Shogbuyi in eighth at 10.73. Azie also was the top Illini in the 200m dash, placing seventh with a mark of 21.62 to finish in front of Kabba (21.70) in eighth and Jones (21.74) in ninth. Shogbuyi was 13th at 21.98 and Daniel was 15th at 22.10.
Three Illini ran the 800m, with senior Scott Phelps placing sixth with a time of 1:54.46 to pace the Orange and Blue. Taylor was 13th at 1:57.27 while Engnell was 15th at 1:57.40.
Next week, Illinois is now scheduled to compete at the Mike Poehlein Invitational on Saturday, April 3 in West Lafayette, Ind.