Men's Cross Country, Track & Field
Team Effort Shown at Illini Classic

Graham Morris was one of 10 to win titles at the Illini Classic on Saturday at the UI Armory.
Graham Morris was one of 10 to win titles at the Illini Classic on Saturday at the UI Armory.

Jan. 19, 2013

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. --At the Illini Classic on Saturday, the Illinois men's track and field team won 10 event titles on its way to a victory with 241.50 team points, which proceeded the other six teams. The Illini beat the other six teams by a 133.50 point margin.

"We have a pretty good team with a chance to be very good, but we have to get better," head coach Mike Turksaid. "Overall we were good but we left several opportunities out there. Our intensity and competitiveness was great but our execution was lacking at times. We can't have false starts to races like we did today. I'm sure we'll get that problem fixed. On the positive side, when we had problems, other people stepped up. We have more depth than we've had in a long time."

In just his second meet as an Illini, freshman Cam Viney won the 60m hurdles title for the second consecutive time in two weeks. The Morgantown, W.V., native crossed the finish line with a time of 7.88 which moves him into the third-fastest mark in Illinois indoor history. In the 60m, the Illini squad notched eight teams points as junior Julian Smithfinished runner-up with a time of 6.82.

"There were some nice early season performances in the sprints and hurdles," Turk said. "Cam Viney once again opened some eyes. He's really been a surprise. Juan-Paul was dominate in the 400 and the 4x400m relay. Those two guys are quickly making a name for themselves. Julian Smith also put together a couple of strong races in the 60m and 200m. Brandon Stryganeklooked terrific in winning the 200m."

The Illini scored 18 points in the 200m as Brandon Stryganek won the event in a time of 21.48 while Smith finished second, recording a time of 22.00. In the 400m, freshman Juan-Paul Green opened up in his speciality event and won the crown with a time of 48.23 while sophomore DJ Zahnplaced third with a time of 49.47 to score the Illini six points.

The squad did well in both the middle distance and distance races as Ryan Lynn took home the 600m crown with a time of 1:19.69 and newcomer Graham Morris led the pack in the 800m finishing with a time of 1:53.54. Sophomore Josh Jones placed second in the event, recording a time of 1:55.35 while senior Malcolm Taylor finished third with a time of 1:55.37. In the mile, freshmen Tommy King (4:12.48) and Paul Zeman(4:15.61) finished second and third overall with four Illini total scoring points in the event.

"Our middle distance crew did a nice job," Turk said. "They ran smart and were very competitive. Tommy King and Paul Zeman in the 800 and Ryan Lynn and Zebo Zebein the 600 looked great."

The Illini picked up 29 team points from the 3,000m race, as senior Kyle Engnell led the pack and won the race with a time of 8:37.38 with David Eckhart (8:40.77), Nathan Troester (8:44.12) and Mark Donohue(8:52.64) placing second through fourth, respectively.

The field events had a solid showing as sophomore's Matt Bane and Braden Tanthavong took first place for the Illini. Bane tied his personal best pole vault jump of 17-3 3/4 (5.28m) to win his first pole vault crown of the season while Tanthavong collected the triple jump title with a mark of 47-09 3/4 (14.57m) in his season opener. The Illini also finished second through fourth in the pole vault.

"I was especially pleased, once again, with the vault crew," Turk said. "They are performing at a high level and showing consistency. Nice days for Matt Bane, Cody Klein, and especially for Josh Hodur and Mitch Mammoser, both with new personal bests. It's pretty cool that we had three guys still in at 17 feet."

Sophomore Davis Fraker, in his first indoor meet since the 2011 season, placed runner-up in the weight throw with a mark of 62-8 (19.10m) while Brandon Noefinished second in the shot put with a personal best throw of 56-2 1/2 (17.13m).

"It was nice to have Davis back out there," Turk said. "Although not at full strength, he did a great job of executing his technique and competing. I'm sure he'll be ready to throw far in a few weeks when he gets back to full strength. Brandon Noeis progressing well in the shot put. He had a great personal best today."

The Illini concluded the meet by winning the 4x400m relay event as Green, Zahn, Stephon Pamilton, and Zebo Zebeclicked a time of 3:15.19.

The Orange and Blue will be back in action next weekend as a select few will compete at the Indiana University Relays on Friday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Jan. 26.

Team Standings
1. Illinois 241.50
2. Southern Illinois 108
3. Lincoln (Mo.) 61
4. Western Illinois 51.50
5. SIU-Edwardsville 51
6. Marquette 47
7. Western Kentucy 38

Illinois First Place Finishes

60m H
Cameron Viney: 7.88

Brandon Stryganek: 21.48

Juan-Paul Green: 48.23

Ryan Lynn: 1:19.69

Graham Morris: 1:53.54

Kyle Engnell8:37.38

4x400m relay
Juan-Paul Green, DJ Zahn, Stephon Pamilton, Zebo Zebe: 3:15.19

Pole Vault
Matt Bane 17-3 3/4 (5.28m)

Triple Jump
Branden Tanthavong: 47-09 3/4 (14.57m)