Illini Split Up for Spire Invitational and Iowa State Classic
Feb. 14, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team will split squads for a pair of meets this weekend. An eight-man distance crew will be traveling to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Classic, while the rest of the team will compete at the Spire Invitational. The Spire Invitational will take place in Geneva, Ohio at the SPIRE Institute, site of the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships, and feature four other nationally ranked teams, including No. 7 Penn State, No. 16 Cornell, No. 19 Notre Dame and No. 21 Akron, as well as Big Ten opponents Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. At the Iowa State Classic, over 100 All-Americans from 50 different teams will compete in the event, including athletes from No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 13 Texas, No. 15 Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue.
At the Spire Invitational, Josh Jones will kick off the weekend in the 600m run on Friday at 4:40 p.m. CT, followed by David Kendziera in the unseeded 400m. In the field events, Brandon Carrel will compete in the pole vault while school-record holder Davis Fraker will compete in the weight throw, with both events beginning at 4:00 p.m.
On Saturday, Vanier Joseph, Cam Viney, Corey Hammon and George Wayda will compete in the 60m hurdles prelims at 10:10 a.m. CT. Joseph and Viney are coming off a successful weekend at the Husker Invitational, as Joseph placed fifth in the event and Viney placed seventh after clocking a season-best time in the prelims. Wayda and Hammon will also join teammates Brandon Stryganek and Julian Smith in the 60m dash prelims at 10:40. At 11:50, defending Big Ten champion Stephon Pamilton will join teammates DJ Zahn and Kenneth Allen in the elite 400m race. All three notched top-10 finishes in the event last weekend, as Pamilton placed third, Zahn finished fifth and Allen placed eighth. Josh Jones and Malik Lee will compete in the 800m run at 12:30 p.m., while Brandon Stryganek and Julian Smith will run in the elite 200m dash at 2:00. In the final running event of the day, DJ Zahn, Kenneth Allen, Cam Viney and Stephon Pamilton will compete in the 4x400m relay at 2:55.
Ian Briscoe will kick off Saturday's field events in the high jump at 9:00 a.m., followed by the pole vault crew of Cody Klein, Matthew Bane and Blaze Galardy at 11:00. Klein is coming off of a second place finish at the Husker Invitational, where he recorded his highest mark of the season. Also beginning at 11:00 a.m. will be the long jump, featuring George Wayda and Corey Hammon, along with Davis Fraker and Brandon Noe in the shot put. Branden Tanthavong will close out the field events at 1 p.m. in the triple jump. The sophomore has recorded a top-10 finish in every meet he's competed in this season.
At the Iowa State Classic, Jannis Toepfer and Jordan Hebert will compete in the 5,000m race on Friday night. Toepfer will make his season debut in the event, while Herbert clocked a personal-best to place second at the Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational. Ian Barnett and Will Brewster will compete in the 3,000m at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday after setting personal-bests in the event earlier in the season. Immediately following the 3,000m race, Liam Markham and Will Brewster will represent the Illini in the mile run. Markham clocked the eighth-fastest mile time in school history at the Indiana Relays, while Brewster set a new personal-best in the event last weekend at the Husker Invitational. In the final event for the Orange and Blue, Joe McAsey and Zebo Zebe will compete in the 800m run. Zebe is coming off of a first place finish at the Husker Invitational, where he set a new personal-best.