Sophomore Zebo Zebe set a lifetime best in the 800m with a time of 1:51.89 at the EIU Big Blue Classic.
March 31, 2012
CHARLESTON, Ill. - The Illinois men's track and field team performed well as the Eastern Illinois University Big Blue Classic wrapped up today. The Illini recorded three first-place finishes and six runner-up performances throughout the two-day contest, highlighted by several Orange and Blue setting lifetime bests in their respective events. A full list of results can be found below.
"We had a great team effort today," head coach Mike Turk said. "A lot of solid performances across the board in each group event. It was nice to see a lot of progress this early in the season."
Freshmen Brandon Stryganek and D.J. Zahn picked up runner-up finishes in the 200 and 400m, respectively. Stryganek timed a 21.41 in the 200m while Zahn ran his first sub-48 time of the year in the 400m (47.66).
In the 800m, sophomore Zebo Zebe was the first Illini over the finish line, with a personal-best time of 1:51.89 and placing third while junior Malcolm Taylor and freshman Josh Jones placed in the top-10 at fifth and ninth, respectively. All three runners ran lifetime bests.
The 4x100m relay squad of Zahn, Stryganek, junior Josh Zinzer and freshman Jade Ackerman took second with a time of 40.42, a new meet record. The 4x400m relay team of Taylor, Zahn, Jones and Zebe, finished third with a mark of 3:14.79.
"The 4 x 1 relay ran a terrific early season time especially considering we ran without all Americans Andrew Riley and Stanley Azie," Turk said. "That relay had three freshmen so it shows we have some real quality depth."
In his first outdoor meet, junior Hunter Mickow finished first in the 5,000m and set a personal-best time of 14:36.46, while teammate Bohne finished fifth with a career-best time of 14:56.78. Bohne also placed eighth in the 1,500m with a time of 3:59.62.
Freshman Gary Ford led the 110m hurdles crew, finishing second with a time of 14.54 while senior Nicholas Haab paced the Illini in the 400m hurdles with a time 54.44, placing sixth overall.
Freshman Corey Hammon finished first for the Illini and fifth overall in the decathlon, compiling 6,065 points, winning the 100m, 400m, and the javelin throw. Sophomore Tim Gaumer placed ninth with a score of 5,405 points.
In the field events, Hodur led the Illini to success in the pole vault as he won his first event of the season as he set a personal-best mark of 16-8 ¾ (5.10m). Senior Alex Baldwin and sophomore Matt Bane finished third and fourth, respectively with marks of 16-4 ¾ (5.00m).
"Our pole vault crew showed great form today," Turk said. "Josh (Hodur) had a breakthrough performance, Alex (Baldwin) has shown quality in his consistency and it is great to have Matt (Bane) back in action."
The Illini went two-three in the shot put as Davis Fraker threw a mark of 53-9 ¼ (16.39m) while freshman Brandon Noe finished with a personal-best mark of 53-8 ½ (16.37m). Noe also won the discus with a career-best throw of 164-07 (50.17m).
"Brandon (Noe) had a nice pair of personal bests that included a win in the discus," Turk said. "He's showing signs of some big throws to come."
In the jumps, freshman Branden Tanthavong, finished second in the triple with a mark of 48-3 ¼ (14.71m) while Ford led the Illini charge in the long jump, finishing fifth with a leap of 22-10 (6.96m).
Next week, Illinois will travel south to Baton Rouge, La., to compete at the Battle on the Bayou hosted by LSU.
Illinois Results at EIU Big Blue Classic
6. Jade Ackerman, 10.90
8. Nathan Bohne, 3:59.62
2. Zahn, Stryganek, Zinzer, Ackerman, 40.42 *
3. Taylor, Zahn, Jones, Zebe, 3:14.79
5. Corey Hammon, 6,065 points
9. Tim Gaumer, 5,405 points
T4. Gary Ford, 6-04 (1.93m)
2. Branden Tanthavong, 48-3 ¼ (14.71m)