Illini Win Bill Cornell Spring Classic
March 30, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team scored 161 team points on Saturday to win the Bill Cornell Spring Classic. The squad notched five team titles in their second outdoor meet including the 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m and the pole vault. A full list of results can be found below.
"It's great to have an opportunity for the guys to compete in a meet with team scoring," head coach Mike Turk said. "We had fun. A number of people seized the opportunity to step up and contribute which led to a good team performance."
Sophomore DJ Zahn had a successful meet as he finished first in the 100m and 200m on Saturday. Zahn, who held the conference's third fastest 100m time prior to the meet (10.65), improved by two hundredths of a second by winning the event with a time of 10.63. In the 200m, Zahn finished with a time of 21.26 which ranks among the best in the conference and the nation.
"DJ was our workhorse on the track running on the winning 4x100 and 4x400 along with winning the 100 and 200," Turk said. "He was outstanding. I think he showed he is ready to put up some big performances outdoors."
In the 400m, Big Ten point scorer Juan Paul Green opened his outdoor season with a third place finish in a time of 48.01. The finish scored six team points for the Orange and Blue. Junior Zebo Zebe finished second in the 800m with a time of 1:51.95 while freshman Liam Markham competed in his first 800m and placed fifth with a time of 1:52.75. Four Illini scored 19 total team points in the 1,500m as freshman Luke Carroll placed runner-up with a time of 3:53.33, redshirt-freshman Tommy King finished third (3:52.75), redshirt-freshman Paul Zeman placed sixth (3:56.33) while freshman Will Brewster finished seventh with a time of 3:58.54. In the 5,000m, senior Nathan Troester earned six team tallies with his sixth place finish in the event with a time of 14:47.89.
"Zebo has sown some consistency at a high level in the 800m," Turk said. "No one is more dedicated than Zebo and it's finally starting to pay off. He's racing really well. He is ready to drop his time down in the next couple of weeks. I was also really pleased with the effort of Nate. He knew the meet was on the line and he ran a gutsy race in the race to seal up the team title. We were all so proud of him."
In the 110m hurdles, defending Big Ten track athlete of the week Joseph Vanier finished second with a time of 14.25 to score eight team points for the Orange and Blue. Sophomore Gary Ford opened up his outdoor season in the event with a 14th place finish with a time of 14.86. Freshman Cameron Viney took five in the 400m hurdles and scored four team points for the Illini. He lowered his time from last weekend, crossing the finishing line with a time of 53.37.
The 4x100m relay crew of Joseph, Stryganek, Zahn and Smith ran extremely well as they won the crown with a time of 40.43. The Illini's relay success continued as they finished the meet with a win in the 4x400m as Green, Zahn, Lynn and Zebe crossed the line with a time of 3:16.78.
"I was pleased with our 4x100," Turk said. "They ran a little more conservative than last week but they got the stick around well enough. Their timing wasn't perfect but their time is good for this early and about what we had hoped it would be."
In the field events, the pole vault crew led after scoring 30 team points with a first, second, third, fourth and eighth place finish. Matthew Bane took the pole vault crown with a season-best mark of 5.05m. A pair of Big Ten point scorers also scored points in the pole vault as senior Josh Hodur finished second with another season-best mark of 5.05m while junior Cody Klein placed third with a mark of 4.95m. Freshman Mitch Mammoser placed fifth with a mark of 4.95m while redshirt-freshman Blaze Galardy finished eighth with a mark of 4.65m.
"Of course we were once again led by the pole vaulters," Turk said. "Blaze picked up that valuable eighth place and I'm really happy for him."
The Illini also placed runner-up in two events, discus and the high jump. Sophomore Brandon Noe opened up his season in the discus as he finished with a mark of 50.40m while senior Steve Monte posted a mark of 1.98m in his first high jump event of the outdoor season. Monte continued his success in the javelin as he notched a career-best mark with 60.32m which ranks as eighth best in school history.
"Steve had a big day for us with the big personal best in the javelin along with a second place finish in the high jump and another sub 15 seconds in the hurdles. I have been really pleased with Brandon Noe's effort. He suffered an ankle sprain last week and it was still hampering him but he got into the competition and got over some of his fears associated with the injury." Turk said.
Redshirt-freshman Nathan Loe scored four team points for the Orange and Blue in the hammer throw as he finished fifth with a score of 58.02m which is fourth best in school history, while senior Brett Ramirez placed seventh with a mark of 55.84m for two team tallies. Sophomore Davis Fraker also scored five points for the Illini in the shot put as he finished with a mark of 16.59m. Ben Dodds also scored in the javelin with his fourth place finish with a personal best mark of 58.70m.
"Nathan had a super collegiate opener in the hammer," Turk said. "I think his performance, against a great field, puts him in the all-time school list. That's pretty good for his first meet. Ben also had a personal best in the javelin which gave us a big boost towards the end of the meet."
The Illini will compete in the Tiger Track Classic next weekend, hosted by Auburn University.
Team Scores (through 12)
Illinois Results from Bill Cornell Spring Classic