Illini Travel to Nebraska on Saturday
Jan. 26, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After back-to-back victories with a combined 18 individual event titles, the Illinois men's track and field team is primed for continued success as they hit the road for the first time this season. The Illini travel to Lincoln, Neb., to compete at the Mark Colligan Memorial Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 28. The field events will begin at 12:30 p.m. CT, with the running events starting at 1 p.m. CT at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. A full schedule of events and heat sheets can be found above.
"Once again this week, the level of competitiveness rises," head coach Mike Turk said. "Nebraska has an outstanding program and will challenge for the Big Ten title this year, Akron is tops in the MAC and one of the most respected mid major programs in the country and Georgia comes from the always tough SEC. We will look for our guys to compete with heart and their performances will continue to improve."
Senior Andrew Riley looks to hit an NCAA championships qualifying mark and add to his two individual titles this season, as he will compete in the 60m dash and 60m hurdles. The Kingston, Jamaica, native recently tied and set an Illinois school record in the 60m (6.71) and won the 60m hurdles at the Illini Classic, which was his first time competing this season.
Four other Illini join Riley in the 60m hurdles and three other teammates will compete in the 60m, including All-American Stanley Azie, freshman Brandon Stryganek and sophomore Jade Ackerman. Azie, Ackerman, and Stryganek will also run the 200m alongside freshmen Corey Hammon and DJ Zahn. Junior Malcolm Taylor and sophomore Zebo Zebe will be the two Illini competing in the 400m, while Zebe, sophomore Ryan Lynn and freshman Joe McAsey will run the 600m.
Senior Graham Farnsworth and freshman Josh Jones will run in the 800m for the first time this season while two Illini will run the mile, senior's Kyle Engnell and Dan Kremske. Engnell won the mile last week at the Illini Classic. Other distance runners competing in the 3,000m include senior's Jim Riddle, Colin Mickow and Phil Pompei, along with freshman Ian Barnett who's making his Illini debut.
The field events crew has shown improvement throughout the year and expects it to continue this weekend. Sophomore, Cody Klein, who has won the event at the last two meets, will lead the pole-vaulters. Other field event competitors include freshmen Gary Ford and three other Illini in the long jump and Branden Tanthavong in the triple jump, along with junior Brett Einbecker in the weight throw and shot put. James Davenport and Steve Monte will compete in the high jump.
"This meet is a big deal for everyone," Turk said. "This will be the first time this year we've run on a banked track so it will be a learning experience for them. With this being the site of the indoor championships, it should help the guys be a little more comfortable when we come back here in a few weeks."
Next weekend the Illini will host their final indoor competition as the Orange and Blue meet is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4 beginning at 10 a.m. CT with field events and 12 p.m. CT for running events.