Freshman Matthew Bane and the Illini will be in action at the Tyson Invitational this weekend.
Feb. 10, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois will face a loaded field this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., as the squad heads to the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 11-12. The two-day meet, held at Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center, boasts 13 teams ranked in this week's top-25 national poll. Competition gets under way Friday at noon with the evening session scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).
"This will be the best regular season meet we go to during the indoor season," interim head coach Mike Turk said. "It is a loaded field with teams from all over the country with quality athletes in every event. It will be very competitive, so our guys will need to step up to make the finals in some events. I am excited because this is exactly the type of meet we need."
Including the No. 12 host Razorbacks, this weekend's event is scheduled to feature No. 1 Florida, No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 Indiana, No. 6 Oregon, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Florida State, No. 11 Auburn, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 21 Georgia, No. 22 Kansas State and No. 23 North Carolina.
Heading into the final regular season meet, the Illini have athletes ranking among the top-10 in the conference in nine different events, with every one looking to move up the list this weekend. Senior Andrew Riley holds the top spot in the Big Ten in the 60m hurdles with a season-best time of 7.74 while senior Cody Wisslead checks in at No. 5 on the list at 7.98. Both hurdlers will be in action beginning on Friday night at 6:45 p.m.
In the weight throw, freshman Davis Fraker, who owns the second-best throw in the conference with his school-record mark of 68-2 ¼ (20.78m), sits just in front of senior Matt McHugh, who is No. 4 with his personal-best mark of 66-11 ½ (20.41m). The two throwers are scheduled to compete on Friday evening along with sophomore Brett Einbecker. Fraker will also take part in the shot put, an event in which he ranks ninth among Big Ten competitors.
Freshman Matthew Bane leads the Orange and Blue pole vault crew again this weekend after posting a personal-best height of 17-0 ¾ (5.20m) at last weekend's Meyo Invitational, which ranks second in the Big Ten. Bane will be one of five Illini pole vaulters to compete on Saturday afternoon. Senior Oz Lifshitz, who is sixth in the conference among triple jumpers, will also compete during Saturday's field event session.
Other top-10 Illini in the conference standings to watch this weekend include Riley (fourth), senior Azeez Shogbuyi (seventh) and junior Stanley Azie (ninth) in the 60m and Azie fourth in the 200m along with the Mickow twins, Colin (fourth) and Hunter (seventh), in the 5,000m.
Following Friday's action, the meet resumes Saturday with field events at noon and running events at 1 p.m. Full results and a recap of the meet can be found on fightingillini.com after the meet while fans can follow the action with live results and a live video stream on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Illinois will be off next weekend while continuing to prepare for the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Champaign on Feb. 26-27.
Big Ten Indoor Championships Ticket Information
The University of Illinois will host the 2011 Big Ten Men's Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday and Sunday, February 26 and 27 at the University of Illinois Armory. The Illini, who host the championships for the first time since 2003, will compete for the conference crown against several of the nation's top-ranked squads. A limited number of tickets are available for the meet and more information can be found at the championship central site: HERE.