Illini Set for Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational
April 11, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team will head to Macomb, Ill., this weekend to compete at the Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational. The meet is hosted by Western Illinois and will feature 19 different teams during the two day contest. Competition begins Friday at 2 p.m. for the Illini with the discus throw and ends Saturday around 4:10 with the 4x400m relay.
"On a personal note, it's an honor for me to return to Western Illinois for the Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational," head coach Mike Turk said. "I knew coach Calhoun and he was a really wonderful man. This weekend we are taking a little different approach. While some of our guys will be resting or running alternate events, many others will be going hard to show their improvement over the past few weeks in an effort to solidify sports on the travel squad the next few weeks, including the conference meet. We often talk about opportunity in our program and how important it is to make full use of every competitive opportunity regardless of where it is or who it is against. It's all about going out and competing your best and that's been the strength of the team this year. I expect us to show great effort and come home with several personal bests. This meet is an important step in our preparations for the Big Ten championships."
Sophomore Brandon Stryganek leads the three Illini in the 100m while five are scheduled to compete in the 200m, including junior Julian Smith who holds the second fastest 200m time on the team this season and junior Stephon Pamilton who ran the fifth best on the squad. Junior Zebo Zebe looks to improve his 400m time on Saturday along with sophomore Maurice Watkins while senior Ryan Lynn will take part in the 800m as he currently has the fourth best time in the conference. Four Illini will compete in the 3,000m, as a pair of redshirt-freshman will run the 3,000m steeplechase. In both the 110m and 400m hurdles, sophomore Gary Ford and freshman Cam Viney highlight both events. The 4x100m relay will showcase Smith, Stryganek, junior Jade Ackerman and sophomore DJ Zahn while the 4x400m relay is expected to feature Watkins, Zebe, sophomore Josh Jones and Lynn.
Five Illini are entered in the pole vault, highlighted by sophomore Matthew Bane and junior Cody Klein who vaulted a season best mark (5.20m) last weekend and are tied for third best in the conference. Sophomore Davis Fraker will compete in the shot put, discus and the hammer throw along with sophomore Brandon Noe in the discus who currently holds the best discus mark on the team this season. Freshman Nathan Loe will be back in action in the hammer throw as he notched the fourth best result in school history a few weeks ago. The trio of junior's Ryan Michel, James Davenport and sophomore Ford will open their outdoor season in the high jump. Smith will be the lone Illini to compete in the long jump while junior James Sullivan will throw the javelin for the third time this season.
Full results and a recap can be found on fightingillini.com following the completion of the event. The Illini will split next weekend as some will compete at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., April 18-20 while others will travel to LSU's Alumni Gold Meet in Baton Rouge, La.