Azie, Engnell, Riley Earn Trip to Nationals in Des Moines
May 25, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - On Friday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, senior Stanley Azie (100m), senior Kyle Engnell (3,000m SC) and Andrew Riley(100m) earned a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines. Each athlete among the top-12 qualifiers in their respective events at Mike A. Myers Stadium while Riley set a new school record in the 100m dash.
"Other than the hammer throw which was disappointing, we had an outstanding day" head coach Mike Turksaid. "We certainly showed up today, getting both Stanley (Azie) and Andrew (Riley) through to the national finals with personal bests and heat wins. It's pretty special to have two guys at that caliber."
Riley advanced individually to the NCAA Championships in the 100m for the first time in his career after earning an automatic bid for his first-place finish during heat two. The Kingston, Jamaica native broke a 18-year old school record in the event with a time of 10.03. Riley eclipsed Anthony Jones' old mark from 1994 by nearly seven hundreths of a second. The senior also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 110m hurdles event tomorrow, after recording the second-fastest time of the day while freshman Gary Fordwill join Riley after advancing with a career-best time of 14.08.
"Andrew (Riley) was very focused and in control the whole way," Turk said. "Gary (Ford) had a little trouble and stumbled over the first hurdle but kept his composure and put together a personal best race to advance to the next round tomorrow. That could be a breakout performance for Gary."
Azie will compete at the NCAA Championships for the third time in his career, clocking the third-fastest 100m time (10.18m) of the 12 qualifiers in Austin. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native grabbed the automatic bid by winning the first heat. He also qualified for Saturday's quarterfinal in the 200m with an eighth place-finish overall, and runner-up in his heat with a time of 20.78. Joining Azie in the 200m quarterfinals tomorrow is freshman Brandon Stryganek, who placed fifth in his heat with a time of 21.12.
"Stanely (Azie) looked very strong and relaxed to easily qualify for the next round," Turk said. "Brandon (Stryganek) had a poor lane draw and was way inside but he got out great and fought hard to grab the last qualifying spot."
Engnell will participate in the national meet for the first time in his career after recording the fourth-fastest time of 8:50.71 and placing second in the first heat. He is the first time an Illini has qualified for the NCAAs since 2007 when Jon Houseworthplaced 12th with a time of 9:00.48.
"I am so proud of Kyle (Engnell) and coach Kennedy for qualifying for the NCAA finals," Turk said. "Kyle ran smart. He stayed in perfect position the whole race and showed some speed at the end to grab an automatic qualifying place."
A full list of Illini results along with the remaining schedule of Orange and Blue competition can be found below. Riley will lead off the 4x100m relay before running in the quarterfinal of the 110m hurdles while Azie and Stryganek are slated in the 200m quarterfinal on Saturday. Live results along with a full recap can be found on fightingillini.com.
Illinois Friday Results at NCAA West Preliminary Round
Illinois Remaining Schedule at the NCAA West Preliminary Round
Saturday, May 26