Men's Cross Country, Track & Field
Illini Head to Bill Cornell Spring Classic

Sophomore Brandon Stryganek and the rest of the Fighting Illini will compete at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic this weekend.
Sophomore Brandon Stryganek and the rest of the Fighting Illini will compete at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic this weekend.

March 28, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team will compete at the Bill Cornell Spring Classic this Friday, March 29-Saturday, March 30. The meet, hosted by Southern Illinois University, takes the place of the Mike Poehlein Invitational at Purdue University which was cancelled due to weather conditions. The meet begins Friday with the discus throw at 3 p.m. and ends Saturday with the 4x400m relay.

"We are grateful to coach Price-Smith and the staff at SIU for letting us attend their meet on short notice," head coach Mike Turk said. "I think it is going to work out well for us. They have a great tradition and will be dedicating their new facility. It's a great facility, the weather forecast is good and it's a scored meet. That environment will put us in a terrific competitive environment. I know the guys are ready and we are excited for the weekend."

Discus and long jump are the first events competing on Friday afternoon as senior Brett Einbecker, junior Corey Hammon and sophomore Brandon Noe will compete in the discus while junior Julian Smith will compete in the long jump for the first time this season.

Saturday morning begins the remainder of the field events, starting with the hammer throw as senior Brett Ramirez won the event last week and seeks to continue that success along with freshman Nathan Loe. Sophomore Davis Fraker leads the shot put group, after finishing third last week with a mark of (17.39m) which ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 21st in the nation. Seven Illini will look to make a statement in the pole vault as sophomore Matthew Bane will lead the charge as he holds the third best mark in the conference along with Big Ten point scores junior Cody Klein and Josh Hodur. Senior Steve Monte, junior Ryan Michel, sophomore Gary Ford and junior James Davenport will compete in the high jump for the first time this season. Monte three other Orange and Blue will conclude the field events for the Illini in the javelin and Monte currently has the fourth best mark in the Big Ten.

The running events begin at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Keep an eye on defending Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week Joseph Vanier in the 110m hurdles, as he currently holds the fifth fastest time in the nation (13.85) and leads the Big Ten after he won the crown during the outdoor season opener last weekend. Also opening in the 110m hurdles is Ford who was an NCAA prelims qualifier in the event. The Illini will also look for success in the 100m as four Orange and Blue will compete in the event, including Smith who owns the second best time in the Big Ten (10.45) and sophomore ZJ Zahn who holds the third fastest (10.65).

In the 400m, Big Ten indoor champion Stephon Pamilton along with Big Ten point scorer Juan Paul Green will open in the event this Saturday, while sophomore Brandon Stryganek will compete in the event for the second straight week. The 800m will have three Illini competing as junior Zebo Zebe who finished second last weekend and holds the second fastest time in the conference and ninth in the nation (1:50.64) will seek another big performance. After winning the 800m title last weekend in the outdoor opener, senior Ryan Lynn will bump up a distance and will be one of seven Illini competing in the event. Also running in the 1,500m is redshirt-freshman Tommy King who took the title last weekend.

Freshman Cameron Viney took second in the 400m hurdles last week and will seek to lower his time this weekend as he is one of three Illini competing in the event. Ford will also open up in the hurdles event this weekend as well, along with freshman Peter Bremhorst.

The 4x100m relay crew of Joseph, Stryganek, Zahn and Smith will continue to improve as they look to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. The meet will conclude with the 4x400m relay as Green, Zahn, Lynn and Zebe will try to lower their time from last weekend's competition.

The Illini will compete in the Tiger Track Classic next weekend, hosted by Auburn University.