March 11, 2005
After a four-year absence, Illinois' men's track and field team returns to the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. The Illini will be represented by Zach Glavash, Nick Brown and the 4x400m relay team of Abe Jones, Adrian Walker, Nathan Vadeboncoeur, Tramell Smith. This marks the Illini's first appearance at the meet since 2001.
Glavash is the Illini's lone automatic qualifier, competing in the 800m. The Big Ten's 600m champion qualified for nationals after running 1:47.74 at the Cyclone Classic on Feb. 12. That time is second on Illinois' all-time list, just behind Bobby True's time of 1:46.96. Glavash, who already owns the school 600m record will look to add the 800m record this weekend. Marko Koers won Illinois' only 800m NCAA title in 1988, running 1:48.39.
Freshman Nick Brown will look to be Illinois' top finisher in the long jump since Babatunde Ridley finished ninth in 1997. Brown comes in with a top jump of 24'11.75" which ranks him 14th in the NCAA this season and sixth all-time in school history. He reached that distance at last weekend's Alex Wilson Last Chance Invite.
Illinois' 4x400m relay team also improved their time at last weekend's Last Chance Invite, running 3:07.54 which sends them to the Championships ranked 11th overall. The quartet owns the second fastest time in school history, just .07 seconds from the top time and won the event at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago. Illinois' last placed in the event in 2000 and its highest finish are two second place showings.
In order to earn All-America honors an athlete has to either finish in the top-eight in his event or be one of the top eight American finishers.
The 800m prelims will be held Friday along with the long jump prelims and finals while the 800m finals and relay finals will be contested Saturday.
Illinois results can be accessed at www.fightingillini.com while complete meet results can be found at www.hogwired.com.