4x400 Highlights LSU Alumni Gold Meet
April 20, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. --The Illinois men's track and field team put up great performances at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet today, highlighted by the winning 4x400m relay with a nationally ranked time . A full list of the results of the meet can be found below.
The 4x400m relay squad came into the meet today holding the conference's top time. The quartet of sophomore DJ Zahn, freshman Cameron Viney, freshman Juan Paul Green and junior Stephon Pamiltonwon the event with a time of 3:04.58. The time currently ranks fifth in the nation and cracks the school's top-five times in the event. It's the first time a relay squad has made the school's list since 2005.
"We had some great performances today and we saved the best for last," head coach Mike Turksaid. "The 4x400 relay team was superb in winning over Texas A&M and LSU with a lean at the finish line. Their time ranks fifth in the NCAA. It was a great effort by the guys as they each ran a personal best. It was a breakthrough performance for the team. We're excited to take it to the next level."
The 400m crew also performed superb on Saturday as two set lifetime bests in the event. Pamilton finished second with a career best time 46.00. The time cracks the Illinois top-10 in the event as the seventh fastest time in school history. It's the first time and Illini has notched their name into the record books since the 2007 season. Green also ran close to his personal best time as he finished closely behind in a time of 46.71. In the B section, Zahn finished with a time of 46.98.
"I think people will realize that we have a good group of 400m guys," Turk said. "Aside from the 4x400, those guys ran really well in their open races. Stephon ran a lifetime best 46.00 and showed he is capable of dropping more time. DJ also ran a breakthrough, lifetime best dropping under 47 seconds for the first time. I'm really proud of Juan Paul Green'sperformance. He had a solid time just off his best running in lane nine by himself. He showed me he is maturing as a runner, as he didn't handle that type of situation as well during the indoor season."
Viney was another Illini to set a career best time as he finished third in the 400m hurdles with a time of 51.86. In the 110m hurdles, junior Vanier Joseph finished with a time of 15.32 in his first hurdle race in a few weeks. Sophomore Gary Fordwon his section of the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.27.
"Cam continues to improve each time out," Turk said. "He has taken the coaching given to him and is applying it with real focus. Cam is learning how to spread his effort in the race efficiently. Vanier still isn't quite 100% but he is getting close. He just needs to stick with the program and trust his ability. Gary Fordhad his best race of the year. He's had a tough time with an injury this year and it looks like he is coming around at the right time."
Sophomore Brandon Noe finished runner-up in the discus with a mark of 178-10 (54.50m) which is just off his career best. The pole vault crew notched two top-five finishes as junior Cody Klein placed third with a mark of 16-9 1/4 (5.11m) while teammate Matthew Baneplaced fifth with a jump of 16-9 1/4 (5.11m).
"Brandon had a great day placing second," Turk said. "He was just off his personal best but what is so encouraging is that he did that with a left hand (negative) wind and he had by far the best series of his career. The vault crew was a little disappointed they didn't go higher but they competed well. I'm pleased with their performances as a whole. It was a tough wind today."
The Illini wrapped up competition at the Mt. SAC Relays on Friday night. After setting a career best in the 5,000m a few weeks ago at Auburn, freshman Ian Barnettcompeted in the event again. Barnett finished third in the 5,000m in a field of over 30 competitors. Barnett crossed the finish line with a time of 14:01.20, just off his personal best.
"Ian capped off a nice weekend for our distance crew at Mt. SAC," Turk said. "We saw him run fast a couple weeks ago at Auburn in a race that was set up to go fast. At Mt. SAC, it was a real race, not just a fast race. There was strategy and hard racing. The pace wasn't even and he had to adjust. I think he did a great job. This is the type of race he will have at Big Tens, so his performance is a great sign of his preparation at this point."
The Illini will hit the road for the Drake Relays next weekend in Des Moines, Iowa on April 26-28.
Illinois Results from LSU Alumni Gold Meet
110m H (B Section)
400m (B Section)
Illinois Results at Mt. SAC Relays
5,000m (Open - A)