Two Illini Qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships
March 6, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois' men's track and field team qualified two athletes to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M. Illinois will be represented by senior Vanier Joseph in the 60m hurdles and junior Davis Fraker in the weight throw.
"We have had a fine indoor season with some great performances,' said head coach Mike Turk. "These two guys stepped up to another level during the season and will represent their team and the University of Illinois well. Both guys are experienced at the NCAA level and are poised to get on the podium."
Vanier Joseph will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third time in his career, and the second time as an Illini. Joseph is coming off of a third-place finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, where he clocked a season-best time of 7.76 in the finals. A transfer from Eastern Michigan University, Joseph qualified for nationals last season after finishing runner-up in the 60m hurdles at the conference championships with the second-fastest time in school history. The Redford, Mich., native went to place 11th at the national indoor championships.
"Vanier returns to the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third time in his career," said Turk. "He got off to a bit of a slow start this season, but has put together a great season. He has been consistently performing at a high level and is battle tested. He has been very close to making it up on the podium in his previous two trips to the championships, and I know he is hungry to fulfill his goal this time around. Vanier is well prepared and I feel like it is his time to shine."
Davis Fraker will make his second appearance at the indoor championships after resetting the school record in the weight throw to place sixth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Fraker first broke the school record in 2011 and became the first-ever Illini to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the event. The Peachtree City, Ga., native went on to earn second-team All-America honors with a 10th-place finish.
"It's been a long road for Davis since his appearance at the NCAAs his freshman year as he has battled through some injuries and untimely illnesses," said Turk. "He has endured those hardships and is now back at his best. Last time at the national meet, he performed well but came up just a bit short of making it onto the podium. I am sure that experience will aid him this time around. His season has progressed very well. He had a lifetime personal best at the Big Ten meet to qualify for the NCAA Championships and I know he is capable of more. He is peaking at the right time."
The prelims of the 60m hurdles are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on Friday, with the top-eight advancing to the finals on Saturday at 7:20 p.m. CT. The trials and finals of the weight throw will take place on Friday beginning at 5:00 p.m. CT.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on Friday, March 14 starting at 6:55 p.m. CT and on Saturday, March 15 beginning at 6:50 p.m. CT. A tape delay of the championships will air Saturday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.