Junior Stanley Azie earned his first career first-team All-America honors in the 100m at the NCAA Championships.
June 10, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa - Junior Stanley Azie (100m) and senior Cody Wisslead (400m hurdles) both garnered their first career first-team All-America honors after competing in the finals of their respective events at the NCAA Championships on a rainy Friday. Azie placed sixth in the 100m dash with a time of 10.30 while Wisslead took eighth in the 400m hurdles, giving the Illini a total of four team points at Drake Stadium.
"Cody and Stanley represented us well in the finals today," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "Stanley has come so far from such humble beginnings. He had is trademark powerful start and is just so competitive. He had an outstanding performance in tough conditions against one of the best 100m fields of all-time.
"Cody was able to earn All-America honors in his final collegiate race in the 400m hurdles after overcoming so much, especially the injuries that sidelined him through the end of indoors and through half the outdoor season. I told him to believe in himself and trust his coaches. Coach Bailey did a great job preparing him and showed why she is one of the best."
Running out of lane one in the 100m dash, Azie crossed the line with the second-fastest time of his career and gave Illinois its first All-American in the event since Lester Washington in 1984. His mark ranks only behind his personal-best of 10.20 from the Big Ten Championships, which is second in school history. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native, who scored three points for his finish, also will anchor the 4x100m relay on Saturday.
"I've come a long way this year, and I know what I have to do now to get to that next level," Azie said. "I would have liked to do better than sixth place, but I was happy to make the final for the first time and earn All-America honors. I just want to get back here next year and do even better."
After an hour delay due to lightning in the area, Wisslead also ran out of lane one and scored the first point for the Illini on a rain-soaked track. The Sciota, Ill., native earned first-team All-America honors by advancing to the final, which marked the first by an Illini in the event since 2004.
"I was just thankful to be out there and competing with the best of the best," Wisslead said. "Even though I got eighth place, I was just happy to have a lane out there. I was more excited a few days ago when I qualified and knew I was going to be an All-American. Today was a race that I wish I could have back, but I am so happy that I was able to accomplish all my goals that I set forth this year."
The Illini close out competition at the NCAA Championships in a pair of events on Saturday. Junior Andrew Riley will lead off the record-setting 4x100m relay before attempting to defend his NCAA title in the 110m hurdles. Full results and a recap can be found on fightingillini.com, and live updates will be made at twitter.com/IlliniTrackXC.
Illinois Friday Results at NCAA Championships
6. Stanley Azie 10.30; 3 team points
400m Hurdles (FINAL)
8. Cody Wisslead 51.39; 1 team point
Illinois Remaining Schedule at the NCAA Championships
All times Central