Illinois Set for Drake Relays
April 23, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Illinois men's track and field team will head to Des Moines, Iowa for the prestigious Drake Relays from Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26. The Illini are entered in 18 events, including six relays. The meet features colleges and universities from all over the country, including No. 4 Arkansas, No. 6 Georgia and No. 13 Baylor, as well as Big Ten opponents No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 14 Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa.
The Illini men have been the most dominant squad in Drake Relays history, holding the record for the most overall titles (138), most individual titles (66) and most relay titles (72). Last year, the Orange & Blue won the first annual HyVee Cup after three relay teams notched runner-up finishes. Illinois also crowned an individual champion as Vanier Joseph won the 110m hurdle title.
Action kicks off on Thursday 4x1600m relay, followed by Brendan McDonnell in the 10,000m and Paul Zeman in the 5,000m. On Friday, Vanier Joseph and David Kendziera will compete in the 110m hurdles prelims, with the finals taking place Saturday afternoon. Joseph currently holds the fastest 110m hurdles time in the Big Ten and the second-fastest in the nation. The Illini will compete in three relays on Friday, including prelims of the 4x100m and 4x400m, as well as the 4x800m final. The 4x100m (Smith, Stryganek, Pamilton, Zahn) and 4x400m teams (Zahn, McAsey, Allen, Pamilton) currently hold the top times in the Big Ten this season, while Illinois will compete in the 4x800m relay for the first time this season. Ben Dodds and Aaron Wilks will represent the Illini in the javelin, while Cody Klein and Blaze Galardy will compete in the pole vault.
Illinois will begin Saturday with the prelims of the shuttle hurdle relay, with the finals taking place a few hours later. The quad will then compete in the sprint medley relay and distance medley relay finals, while the 4x100m and 4x400m finals will take place a few hours later. In the 400m hurdles, Illinois will be represented by Cam Viney and David Kendziera. Viney currently holds the third fastest time in the Big Ten and the seventh-fastest in the NCAA. Four Illini will compete in field events on Saturday, featuring Brandon Noe in the discus, Ryan Michel in the high jump, Davis Fraker in the hammer throw and Branden Tanthavong in the triple jump. Corey Hammon and George Wayda will compete in the decathlon for the first time this season.
Friday, April 25
Saturday, April 26