4x400m Relay Qualify for NCAA Finals
June 6, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. -- On day two of the NCAA Championships, the 4x400m relay squad advanced to the finals of the event which will take place on Saturday afternoon, while senior Hunter Mickow earned second team All-America honors in the 10K.
"We had a good day today," head coach Mike Turk said. "Once again our guys showed a lot of resiliency and brought a great competitive effort. I am happy for Hunter. Earning second team All-America honors is a great accomplishment and we are pumped to once again have a chance to run in a final event on TV on Saturday. Our 4x4 ran tough and avenged our misfortune and near miss from the indoor nationals."
Mickow competed in his first 10,000m at the NCAA Championships on Thursday evening. The senior always remained in the front group of the 24 competitors and crossed the finish line in a time of 30:09.21. Mickow placed 15th overall and earned second team All-America honors. It's the first time an Illini distance runner has placed in the 10K at the national meet since 1987 when David Halle finished fifth.
"Hunter ran a very smart and controlled race," assistant coach Jake Stewart said. "Hunter's ability to work himself through the race evenly is one of his strongest attributes. Hunter started his drive to the finish line from further out tonight and was able to run down a lot of guys in front of him in the last 2K. I'm very happy for Hunter ending his career as an All-American."
In the 4x400m relay, sophomore DJ Zahn came out of the blocks in lane five and had the Illini in fourth before giving the baton to freshman Cameron Viney, who remained among the leaders. After the second handoff, freshman Juan Paul Green made up ground and moved into fourth on the back stretch before handing it to junior Stephon Pamilton. Pamilton inched the Illini to third with 200m left but was edged by TCU on the home stretch. The Orange and Blue finish fourth in the heat with a time of 3:04.97. The Illini had to wait through all three heats to see if they'd advance to the finals on Saturday, and they grabbed the eighth and final spot. The finish earns them automatic All-America honors.
The 4x400m relay will compete in the finals of the event on Saturday afternoon. The eight team field will take the track at 5:50 p.m. CT.
Illinois Thursday Results at NCAA Championships