Track and Field to Host Illinois Twilight on Saturday
April 11, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's and women's track and field teams will host the Illinois Twilight on Saturday, April 12. The meet will take place at the Illinois Soccer and Track Stadium with throwing events beginning at noon, followed by jumping events at 4 p.m. and running events at 5 p.m. Admission to the Illinois Twilight is free and parking will be available in the grass lot west of Illinois Field, as well as in the State Farm Center lots. Senior athletes will be recognized around 8:30 p.m., during the 3,000m run. A full meet schedule and heat sheets can be found above.
Illinois will welcome seven schools to event, including Big Ten opponent Iowa, Loyola, Eastern Illinois, Indiana State, Bradley, IUPUI and Butler, as well as a number of unattached athletes, including former Illini Gia Lewis-Smallwood.
The Illini men are coming off of an impressive performance at the Tiger Track Classic, where the Orange & Blue recorded 18 top-five finishes, including five event titles. Vanier Joseph will look to capture his third consecutive 110m hurdles title of the outdoor season on Saturday. Last weekend, the senior won the 110m hurdles for the second week in a row after clocking the fastest-time in the Big Ten, while Cam Viney clocked the sixth-fastest time in the conference to place third. Jannis Toepfer won two event titles at the Tiger Track Classic, including the 5,000m. The Bochum, Germany native clocked the sixth-fastest time in school history to win the event, and will compete in both the 5,000m and 1,500m this weekend.
Branden Tanthavong has had an impressive start to the outdoor campaign, recording a first-place finish in the outdoor opener and a second-place finish last weekend. At the Tiger Track Classic, he set a huge personal-best mark of 15.25m, which is currently the best in the Big Ten. DJ Zahn will compete in the 400m on Saturday after placing second last weekend with a personal-best time of 46.77, which currently leads the Big Ten.
The Illinois women notched 17 top-10 finishes last weekend at the Tiger Track Classic. Alyssa Schneider entered the record books once again, winning the 3,000m with the fifth-fastest time in school history, and will compete in the 5,000m on Saturday. The junior placed eighth in the event at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships to score points for the Illini. Chloe Schmidt will compete in the 800m after placing second in the event last weekend. The junior clocked a personal-best time of 2:07.37 at the Arizona State Invitational two weeks ago, which is currently the second-fastest in the Big Ten.
Jesica Ejesieme will compete in both the 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles on Saturday. The senior won both events two weeks ago at the ASU Invitational, where she clocked the third-fastest time in the conference in the 400m hurdles, as well as the fourth-best in the 100m hurdles. 2014 Big Ten Indoor Champion and Second-team All-American Kandie Bloch-Jones will compete in the high jump late Saturday afternoon. Also competing on Saturday will be former Illini Gia Lewis-Smallwood. The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team member and school record holder will compete unattached in the discus.
Other Illini athletes to watch include Asia Thomas (200m; 400m), Britten Petrey (3,000m steeplechase), Kymbriona Taylor (100m; 200m), Jennifer DeBellis (pole vault), Kristen Wilson (shot put), Mariah Smith (discus; hammer) and Kawanna Brooks (long jump).