Freshman Davis Fraker won the hammer throw title at the Tom Botts Invitational as the Illini finished third overall.
April 14, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Illinois men's track and field team racked up 141 points and placed third behind Iowa and Missouri at the Tom Botts Invitational on Saturday. The Illini won three individual event titles, as sophomore Jade Ackerman grabbed first in the 200m, sophomore Matt Bane vaulted to a crown and school record holder Davis Fraker threw to a hammer throw victory at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.
"We were fortunate to have the good weather we had today," head coach Mike Turk said. "I stress to our team to always be ready to take advantage of an opportunity. Overall I was very pleased with our focus and competitiveness and it showed in our performances. This was a nice step forward towards Big Tens."
Ackerman timed 21.53 in the 200m to earn his first victory of the outdoor season and setting a new personal-best in the event while Bane vaulted 16-9 ¼ (5.11m) to earn his first title of the outdoor campaign. Fraker notched a victory in the hammer throw with a mark of 206-10 (63.04m), as the Peachtree Ga., native also placed runner-up with a season-best throw in the shot put of 56-0 ½ (17.08m).
"Jade (Ackerman) came out strong today with a big personal best in the 200m," Turk said. "He adds more quality depth to our crew. Our pole-vaulters were once again very good. Matt (Bane) continues to show he is in good form. Also, out throws group took a big step forward today. Davis (Fraker) had a nice meet and had a win in the hammer and seasons best in the shot."
Sophomore's Cody Klein and Brett Ramirez both added eight points for the Illini with their runner-up places in each respective events. Klein cleared 16-3 ¼ (4.96m) in the pole vault while Ramirez threw a personal-best mark of 194-05 (59.25m) in the hammer throw.
Illinois received third-place finishes from freshman Gary Ford, who turned in a personal-best in the 110m hurdles (14.08), junior Josh Hodur with a vault of 15-09 ¼ (4.81m), freshman Branden Tanthavong in the triple jump with a leap of 47-11 ¾ (14.62m), Fraker in the shot put with a throw of 56-0 ½ (17.08m) and freshman Brandon Noe in the discus with a career-best mark of 171-10 (52.39m).
"Gary (Ford) also ran great today," Turk said. "It was a nice improvement and now he is striving for consistency which will prepare him to run his best at Big Tens. Also Brandon (Noe) had a big day in the discus with four throws over his previous best. This is his first collegiate season and we are just starting to see what he is capable of doing."
Next week, the Illini will split as some will compete at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., April 19-21 while others will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the John McDonnell Invitational, April 20-21.
1. Iowa 252
2. Missouri 178
3. ILLINOIS 141
4. Loyola (Ill.) 36
5. Depaul 31
Illinois Results at the Tom Botts Invitational
4. Jade Ackerman, 10.83
4. Mark Donohue, 15:38.43
9. Nate Troester, 16:28.55
400 Meter Hurdles
5. Nicholas Haab, 53.43
7. Gary Ford, 59.13
4. Ryan Michel, 6-1 ¼ (1.86m)
3. Branden Tanthavong, 47-11 ¾ (14.62m)