June 5, 2012
Five Illini men's track and field athletes will head to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 6-9 at Drake Stadium, where the qualifiers will compete in five events. The Orange and Blue will be represented in both sprints and hurdles events along with the 4x100m relay at the national meet.
2010 110m hurdles national champion Andrew Riley will look to become the seventh repeat winner in school history and the first in over 50 years since George Kerr won the 880 yard NCAA title from 1959-60. The Kingston, Jamaica, native, who won the 2011 indoor 60m hurdles crown, also will attempt to become the first Illini to win two national titles in the same year under the current NCAA sanctioned events. Riley holds the top seed in the 100m after breaking the school record with his time of 10.03 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, while he has the second seed in the hurdles heading into the national meet after recording the second-fastest wind-legal time (13.33) at prelims.
Riley also will lead off the Illini 4x100m relay, which will compete at nationals for the third year in a row. The team of Riley, freshman Brandon Stryganek, freshman DJ Zahn and senior Stanley Azie won their heat at the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 39.29, giving them an automatic bid and the No. 4 seed at the national meet. The foursome also won the Big Ten title in the event for the second consecutive year. Last season, the relay placed 3rd and earned first-team All-America honors.
Azie will eye his third career All-America honor while competing in three events at the national meet for the second consecutive year. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native will race individually in the 100m and 200m along with anchoring the 4x100m relay. Azie is seeded seventh in the 100m (10.18) and 23rd in the 200m (20.67) based on his times from the NCAA West Preliminary Round. He finished runner-up in the 100m (10.42) and placed fourth in the 200m (20.67), setting a new personal best. The senior's new career-best in the 100m last weekend at the NCAA West Prelims ranks third fastest in school history.
Senior Kyle Engnell earned his first trip to nationals in the 3,000m steeplechase by notching an automatic bid from the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 8:50.71, and is seeded 15th overall at the national meet. He is the first Illini to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 2007 when Jon Houseworth placed 12th. Engnell scored points at the Big Ten meet for the fourth consecutive year, placing eighth this season and setting a personal-best of 8:46.22 which ranks fifth-fastest in school history.
Live results and video will be available during all four days of the meet and linked on www.fightingillini.com. Wednesday's events will be available via NCAA.com and Thursday-Saturday on ESPN3.com. Saturday's events will also be televised on ESPNU in a window beginning at Noon (CT). Live updates from the meet will be posted to the @IlliniTrackXC Twitter account while a full recap and results can be found on fightingillini.com following the completion of each day.
Illini Schedule at the NCAA Championships
(All times Central)
Friday, June 8
5:55 p.m. 100m Final
Saturday, June 9
11:03 a.m. 4x100m Relay Final
11:39 p.m. 200m Final
11:52 3,000m Steeplechase Final
12:07 p.m. 110m Hurdles Final
USTFCCCA All-America Policy
Individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point in an NCAA Track & Field Championship will earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-America honors (place first through eighth). Those individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall (including ties) in an NCAA Track & Field Championship will earn USTFCCCA Second-Team All-America honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above, but participate at least a round of the finals site for an NCAA Championship will be listed as Honorable Mention All-America.
Illini Athletes at Nationals:
Stanley Azie, (Sr., Bolingbrook, Ill.) - 100m, 200m & 4x100m Relay
Seeded seventh in the 100m (10.18) and 23rd in the 200m (20.79) at the NCAA Championships based on his times from the NCAA West Preliminary Round ... Ran a personal-best mark of 20.67 in the 200m at the Big Ten Championships, which earned him a fourth-place finish ... Placed runner-up in the 100m at the conference meet ... His 100m time (10.18) ranks third fastest in school history, just behind Anthony Jones (10.10) and fellow teammate Andrew Riley (10.03) ... Also will anchor the school-record 4x100m relay.
Personal best in 100m: 10.18 (5/26/12)
Personal best in 200m: 20.67 (5/13/12)
Andrew Riley (Sr., Kingston, Jamaica) - 100m, 110m Hurdles, 4x100m Relay
2010 NCAA champion in the 110m hurdles ... Won the 2011 NCAA title in the 60m hurdles ... Top seed in the 100m heading into the national meet after breaking the school record at the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 10.03 ... Holds the second-fastest qualifying time in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.33 set at the NCAA West Prelims ... Will look to become the seventh repeat winner in school history and the first in over 50 years since George Kerr won the 880 yard NCAA title from 1959-60 ... Also will attempt to become the first Illini to win two national titles in the same year under the current NCAA sanctioned events ... Won his third Big Ten title in the 110m hurdles and his second 100m crown at the outdoor conference meet ... Has earned All-America honors at all seven NCAA Championships in which he has competed ... Won the Penn Relay title in the 110m hurdle ... Also will lead off the 4x100m relay.
Personal best in 110m hurdles: 13.28 (4/21/12)
Personal best in the 100m: 10.03 (5/26/12)
Kyle Engnell (Sr., Homer Glenn, Ill.) - 3,000m Steeplechase
Advanced to nationals in the 3,000m steeplechase for the first-time in career... Notched an automatic bid from the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 8:50.71, and is seeded 15th overall at the national meet ... Is the first steeplchaser to qualify for the NCAAs since 2007 when Jon Houseworth achieved the feat ... Scored points for the Illini in the steeplchase at the Big Ten Championships for the fourth-consecutive year, placing eighth this year with a personal-best time of 8:46.22, which ranks fifth-best in school history ... Was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week after being the first collegian to cross the finish line at the Stanford Invitational.
Personal best in 3,000m Steeplechase: 8:46.22 (5/12/12)
Illinois 4x100m Relay: Andrew Riley, Brandon Stryganek, DJ Zahn, Stanley Azie
Qualified for the NCAA Championships for the third-straight season ... Enter the meet as the No. 4 seed after winning their heat at the NCAA West Preliminary Round with a time of 39.29 ... The prelims time of 39.29 was a season-best and ranks third-fastest in school history ... Won the Big Ten title for the second-consecutive year ... Placed third overall last year, earning first-team All-America honors ... Junior Josh Zinzer will be an alternate for the relay team.
Season best: 39.29 (5/26/12)
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