Sun, Sprinters Shine at Big Ten Championships
May 13, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - Three Big Ten titles highlighted the final day of competition at the outdoor conference meet for the Illinois men's track and field team, as the squad finished eighth overall with 65 points. Senior Andrew Rileyled off the 4x100m relay to its back-to-back Big Ten title before winning his third-straight crown in the 110m hurdles and his first 100m dash title.
"Today is kind of bittersweet," head coach Mike Turksaid. "The guys performed really well individually. We had some great performances, especially going one-two in the 100m; our sprint crew was great. The two guys in the 800m came through and had good times. However, we didn't really move forward as far as we'd like to. Overall, I think the guys gave everything they had, but we need to continue to get better."
The 4x100m relay squad started off the Illini with a big victory, winning the Big Ten title for the second year in a row. The team of Riley, Brandon Stryganek, Jade Ackerman and Stanley Azie timed a 39.63, third-fastest in school history and a season-best. In the 110m hurdles, Riley won his fourth straight title in a time of 13.64. Fewer than twenty minutes later, he was back atop the podium after winning the 100m dash with a time of 10.39. Azie finished runner-up in the event with a time of 10.42 while freshman Brandon Stryganekadded a point to the Illini team.
Two more Illini scored important team points in the 800m as junior Ryan Lynn and freshman Joe McAsey placed fifth and seventh, respectively. Lynn's time was 1:48.61 in the finals, however his 1:48.20 in the prelims was a lifetime best and qualified him for the NCAA first round competition in Austin, Texas in a few weeks. McAsey, who also finished seventh at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in February, will join Lynn after he ran a personal best 1:48.62 to qualify him for today's final where he timed a 1:49.62. Both middle distance runners competed on the 4x400m relay team along with Zebo Zebe and DJ Zahnwhich finished ninth.
The Illini received three more points from Steve Montein the javelin, after he threw a personal best 196-2 feet to finish sixth. Azie added five points in his final event of the competition, finishing fourth in the 200m with a season best time of 20.67.
Up Next: The Illinois men's track and field team will head to Austin, Texas in two weeks for the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championships from May 24-26 at the University of Texas. The Illini athletes who qualify for the opening round of competition will be announced later this week.
Illinois Sunday Results at Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Final Team Results
100m Hurdles (FINAL)