Senior Hunter Mickow and the Fighting Illini will compete at Auburn's Tiger Track Classic this weekend.
April 4, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team will face tough competition as they head to Auburn, Ala., this Friday-Saturday to compete at the Tiger Track Classic. Field events begin the meet on Friday afternoon as the hammer throw starts around 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, the morning will begin at 11 a.m. with the pole vault while action starts on the track around 12:10 p.m.
"This is a meet that always attracts some of the better sprinters and hurdlers in the country," head coach Mike Turk said. "This is the first real challenge for us and it will be a much greater challenge for us than the first meet. This weekend is another chance to see some of our top level guys improve. We want to see some solid marks from the guys competing in their main events and see them take another step toward arriving at mid-season form by the time Drake Relays roll around."
This weekend's meet will be one of the first in which most of the Illini will be competing in their speciality events. Big Ten point scorer Brandon Stryganek will compete in both the 100m and 200m along with junior Julian Smith who will double in the same events. Juan Paul Green opened up in the 400m last week and ran a season-best time of (48.01). He will be one of three Illini to run in the event this weekend, as junior Stephon Pamilton and sophomore DJ Zahn will join Green.
After setting the ninth best time in the country and second fastest 800m time in the conference during his opener in the event a few weeks ago, senior Ryan Lynn will look to lower his time along with junior Zebo Zebe. A pair of freshman will compete in the 1,500m as Luke Carroll holds the second fastest time on the team so far this outdoor season. Five Illini will run the 5,000m, including senior Hunter Mickow who will make his outdoor debut for the Orange and Blue. Also making his season debut in the 3,000m steeplechase is senior Jannis Topfer.
Highlighting the hurdle crew is junior Vanier Joseph who will compete in the 110m hurdles for the third time this outdoor season. The junior currently holds the fastest time in the conference (13.89) and will be joined by freshman Cameron Viney. Viney will also be the lone Illini to run the 400m hurdles as he's improved his time in the event during the two meets he's competed in this season.
Both relays look to continue their success this weekend as they won their first titles of the season last weekend. The 4x100m squad remains the same from last week, with Joseph, Stryganek, Zahn and Smith competing for the Illini while the 4x400m crew will be Zahn, Viney, Green and Pamilton.
Field event athletes scheduled to compete include senior Brett Ramirez in the hammer throw with sophomore Davis Fraker also throwing the shot put. The trio of Matthew Bane, Cody Klein and Josh Hodur will continue their success and look to take home the pole vault title. After setting a personal-best mark in the javelin last weekend, freshman Ben Dodds looks for another big performance in the event. Also competing in the javelin will be senior Steve Monte.
Live results from the Tiger Track Classic along will full results and a recap following the completion of the meet can be found on fightingillini.com. Next weekend, the team will compete at the Lee Calhoun Invitational, hosted by Western Illinois on Saturday, April 13.