Illini Split Between Two Meets This Weekend
April 19, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -The Illinois men's track and field team will send athletes to two meets this weekend, with the majority of the squad set to compete at Arkansas's John McDonnell Invitational on April 20-21. A group of distance runners are schedule to race at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., today and Friday.
"We will have something going on in every event this weekend," head coach Mike Turksaid. "We have people who are trying to improve on the national list and others trying to make a Big Ten team so they all know what is at stake. The stakes are higher with the competition. As long as we have good weather, we are bound to have great performances. We're way ahead of where we were last year."
Five Illini runners will make the trip out to California for the Mt. SAC Relays as senior Kyle Engnell kicks off the action today at 5:30 p.m. CT in the 1,500m and will also compete in the 3,000m steeplechase on Friday, an event in which he holds the third fastest time in the nation and leads the Big Ten. Sophomore Ryan Lynn and freshman Joe McAsey are scheduled to run in the 800m at 4:50 p.m. CT while senior Jim Riddle and junior Jordan Hebertwill run their first 5,000m of the outdoor season on Friday evening.
The events at the John McDonnell Invitational will begin Friday afternoon with the men's discus throw at 12:00 p.m. CT., and ending with the hammer throw at 4 p.m. CT. The field events will resume on Saturday afternoon with the men's javelin throw beginning at 1 p.m. CT. while the running events commence at 4:10 p.m. CT with the 400m relay.
The sprint crew will be back in action this weekend as senior Andrew Riley will be one of the Illini highlighted, running in his third meet of the outdoor season. The Kingston, Jamaica, native will compete in the 110m hurdles, 100m and will lead off the 4x100m relay with the senior owning the fastest 110m hurdle time in the Big Ten and leading the relay team to the quickest time in the conference. Senior Stanley Azie, the Big Ten's leading 100m runner along with freshman Brandon Stryganekwill look to improve their times in the 100m and 200m on Saturday.
In the 400m, freshman D.J. Zahn holds a top-10 time in the Big Ten and will be the lone Orange and Blue runner in the event while junior Malcolm Taylor, sophomore Zebo Zebe and freshman Josh Jones look to set a personal-best time in the 800m. A trio of Orange and Blue athletes will run the 5,000m, with seniors Colin Mickow, Hunter Mickow and Phil Pompeistepping to the line.
In the field events, freshman Davis Fraker is entered in the shot put and hammer throw, leading the Illini in both events. Other Illini competitors to watch include the pole vault crew of sophomore's Matthew Bane and Cody Klein along with junior's Josh Hodur and Alex Baldwin. Also, look for freshman Brandon Noe and sophomore Brett Einbeckerin the shot put and discus as Noe comes off setting a new career-best in the discus last weekend.
Live stats from the Mt. SAC Relays and John McDonnell Invitational along with full results and a recap following the completion of the meets can be found on fightingillini.com. Next weekend, the team will split again as most of the squad will compete at Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa while a small group will run at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, April 26-28.