Head coach Wayne Angel announced the addition of 15 student-athletes to the Illinois track and field program.
Aug. 25, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois men's track and field head coach Wayne Angel announced today the addition of 15 talented student-athletes joining the Illini program for the 2010 season. This class brings a wealth of experience and awards to the Illini, including a silver medalist in the triple jump at the 2009 Maccabi Games, four state champions and numerous state finalists.
"We are very pleased with the quality and depth of this recruiting class," Angel said. "It offers a nice mix of youth and experience. This is one of the best recruiting classes that we have had in quite some time at Illinois and we are still looking at bringing in more talented athletes at the semester."
The class covers a range of events, reflecting the many disciplines involved with the track and field program. The sprinters joining Illinois are Boyea Lockett (Tulsa, Okla.), Bai Kabba (Batavia, Ill.), John Fox (Elmhurst, Ill.), Josh Zinzer (Aurora, Ill.), Malcolm Taylor (Urbana, Ill.), and James Sullivan (Elmhurst, Ill.). The lone hurdler in the class is Omar Abe (Homer Glen, Ill.), and the horizontal and vertical jumpers for the Illini will be Ryan Michel (McHenry, Ill.) and Oz Lifshitz (Rishon Lezion, Israel). The distance crew joining Illinois include Chris Hayek (Mount Prospect, Ill.), Jordan Hebert (Elmhurt, Ill.), Ryan Lynn (Park Ridge, Ill.) and Zebo Zebe (Tolono, Ill.). Pole vaulter Joshua Hodur (Chicago, Ill.) and Steve Monte (Homer Glen, Ill.) join in the combined events area.
PROFILES ON THE NEWEST ILLINI
John Fox // Sprints // Elmhurst, Ill. // York HS
Highlights: Was the 2009 runner-up at the Illinois Class 3A state meet in the 4x100m and 4x200m relays ... Member of the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state team champions ... Was the 2008 runner-up at the Illinois Class 2A state meet in the 100m ... Took third place at the 2008 Illinois Class 3A state meet in the 200m.
100m - 10.77
200m - 21.70
Chris Hayek // Distance // Mt. Prospect, Ill. // Prospect HS
Highlights: Took fourth place at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state meet in the 1600m ... Also placed fourth and anchored the 4 x 800m relay at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state meet.
800m - 1:52.8 (relay split)
1500m - 3:54.77 (#11 in US)
1600m - 4:10.59 (#25 in US)
Mile - 4:12.23 (#18 in US)
Coach Angel on Hayek: "Chris comes to college with some very nice credentials in the middle distances. He should be an athlete that can develop into a Big Ten scorer. We have had a lot of luck with distance runners out of Prospect such as Mike Murray (6th in Big Ten 1500m in 2009) and Dan Stock (Big Ten scorer and 2005 NCAA qualifier in cross country)."
Jordan Hebert // Distance // Elmhurst, Ill. // York HS
Highlights: Was the 2009 runner-up in the 3200m at the Illinois Class 3A state meet ... Member of the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state team champions ... Placed third at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A Cross Country meet with a time of 14:21.
3200m - 9:04.83 (#47 in US)
Coach Angel on Hebert: "Jordan adds another piece to the puzzle for our young distance crew. He really exploded on to the scene his senior year. He should battle for a travel spot as a freshman."
Joshua Hodur // Pole Vault // Homer Glen, Ill. // Lockport HS
Highlights: Took seventh place in the pole vault at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state meet.
Pole Vault - 15-0
Bai Kabba // Sprints // Batavia, Ill. // Batavia HS
Highlights: 2009 State Champion in the 400m at the Illinois Class 3A meet ... 2009 runner-up in the 4 x 400m relay at the Illinois Class 3A state meet.
100m - 10.40 (#21 US under all conditions)
200m - 21.81
400m - 47.49 (#39 in US)
Coach Angel on Kabba: "Bai came out of nowhere to have a phenomenal senior year. We were able to capitalize on the relationships that we have developed in the state of Illinois to get in on him late in the recruiting cycle. He will help carry on the great tradition we have recently had in the long sprints."
Oz Lifshitz // Jumps // Rishon Lezion, Israel // Central Michigan University
Highlights: 2009 Mid-American Conference Champion (MAC) indoors and outdoors in the triple jump ... 2009 Maccabiah International Games runner-up in triple jump ... 2008 MAC runner-up in the triple jump ... Took third place in the triple jump at the 2008 Israeli National Championships.
Triple Jump - 51-7 ¾ (15.74m)
Long Jump - 22-10 ¾ (6.98M)
Coach Angel on Lifshitz: "Oz adds a much needed `big gun' in the horizontal jumps. His maturity and previous collegiate and international experience will serve him well as he comes into the Big Ten. He should be a good example for our younger jumpers."
Boyea Lockett // Sprints // Tulsa, Okla. // Union HS
Highlights: Two-time state champion in the 100m at the Oklahoma Class 6A meet in 2008 and 2009 ... Two-time state champion in the 200m at the Oklahoma Class 6A meet in 2008 and 2009 ... Also part of the 2009 Oklahoma 6A state champion football team.
100m - 10.48w / 10.68
200m - 21.16 ('08 #25 in US)
Coach Angel on Lockett: "Boyea comes into college with performances that indicate he can step right into the mix in the Big Ten. He has the potential to be one of the premier sprinters in the conference from the get go and should develop into a national level contender."
Ryan Lynn // Distance // Park Ridge, Ill. // Maine South HS
Highlights: 2009 State Champion in the 800m at the Illinois Class 3A meet.
800m - 1:51.13 (#13 in US)
Coach Angel on Lynn: "Ryan was another in-state athlete that really exploded his senior year. He has the potential to carry on the great Illini tradition in the 800."
Ryan Michel // Jumps // McHenry, Ill. // McHenry HS
Highlights: 2009 McHenry County Champion in the high jump.
High Jump - 6-8
Steve Monte // Combined Events // Homer Glen, Ill. // Lockport HS
Highlights: An all-state selection in pole vault at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A state meet.
Pole Vault - 14-3
High Jump - 6-6
110H - 14.6
Abraham Omar // Hurdles // Homer Glen, Ill. // Lockport HS
Highlights: Finished in sixth place in the 300H at the 2009 Illinois Class 3A meet ... Took fifth place at the 2009 Midwest Senior Spotlight meet in the 400H.
300H - 38.59
400H - 54.54
James Sullivan // Sprints // Elmhurst, Ill. // York HS
Long Jump - 22-4 1/2
400m - 49.85
Malcolm Taylor // Sprints // Champaign, Ill. // University HS
Highlights: Placed third in the 400m at the 2009 Illinois Class A meet.
Personal Bests: 400m - 49.21
Zebo Zebe // Distance // Tolono, Ill. // Unity HS
Highlights: Was the runner-up in the 800m at the 2009 Illinois Class A meet ... Placed fourth in the 400m at the 2009 Illinois Class A.
800m - 1:52.59 (#52 US)
Coach Angel on Zebe: "Zebo is a local star who we feel is really untapped. He was a multi-sport athlete at Unity High School and with a year-round focus on track the sky is the limit as to how good he can be."
Josh Zinzer // Sprints // Aurora, Ill. // West Aurora HS
Highlights: 2009 state champion in the 200m at the Illinois Class 3A meet.
200m - 21.56
Coach Angel on Zinzer: "Josh could potentially step right into the Big Ten scoring mix. He's got tremendous turnover and is just a tough competitor."