Julian Smith and the Fighting Illini were recently tabbed No. 22 in the USTFCCCA national rankings.
April 30, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Fighting Illini men's track and field team appeared as No. 22 in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll on Tuesday. The Orange and Blue won the Drake Relays' first ever HyVee Cup last weekend, totaling 36 team points with the five relays and also crowned an individual champion.
"It's great to be recognized in the rankings," head coach Mike Turk said. "We have made a lot of progress as a team this year. We have a lot to do in the championship portion of the season to fulfill our goals. This ranking is an indication that we are getting closer. It's good positive reinforcement for the athletes that have worked very hard."
The Illini jump 16 spots to No. 22 in the country after an impressive weekend at the Drake Relays. The squad posted three relay runner-ups including a top-five time in the nation by the 4x100 and the eighth fastest 4x400m time. Also, the Illini garnered their 67th individual Drake champion on Saturday as junior Vanier Joseph won the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.59. His time was a career best, second best in school history and ranks eighth fastest in the country.
Illinois joins five other Big Ten schools which are ranked in the top-25 nationally including Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa and Ohio State.
The Orange and Blue team will have this weekend off but then travel to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on May 10-12.