Men add 3 new regional qualifiers

By Troy Murray

The men’s track team wrapped up action this weekend at the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., finishing with three new regional qualifiers and three personal best times. Illinois also ran in the Mt. SAC relays in Walnut, Calif. and provisionally qualified in one event.

On Friday, sophomore Zach Glavash won the 800-meter in a personal best time of 1:47.28, becoming the first Illinois athlete to win an event at the Sea Ray Relays since former national champion Mike Lehmann won the shot put in 1981. Glavash is now ranked second in the nation in the 800-meter and seventh on Illinois’ all-time list.

“Zach kind of started the momentum for us,” said head coach Wayne Angel.

Senior Aaron King also regionally qualified for the 800-meter in a personal best time of 1:49.73.

Junior Abe Jones had a strong showing this weekend, setting a personal best in the 110-meter hurdles, running it in 14.20. Jones also took second in the 400-meter hurdles and moved up to sixth in the nation in the intermediate hurdles.

In Walnut, Calif., sophomore Jason Bill provisionally qualified in the 10 thousand-meter in a personal best time of 29:14.85. The mark moves Bill up to fourth on Illinois’ all-time list.

On Saturday, the 4×100-meter relay of Jones, juniors Andre English and Bryan Pratt and freshman Pierre Bush regionally qualified in the event with a time of 40.54.

“I’m very excited with how the weekend went,” Angel said. “I’m very pleased.”

The 4×800-meter relay of Glavash, King, junior Tra Smith and sophomore Jeremy Kruidenier came close to bringing Illinois its second title, but was edged out by Tennessee sophomore anchor Paul Cross.

Tennessee ended up winning five of the six relays at the invitational. The only relay they fell short of winning was the 4×400-meter relay in which the team finished sixth.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Angel said. “I was looking for the intensity, and the momentum just carried itself. I think overall we’re excited about this upcoming meet, and I’m excited to see what our secondary guys will be doing for us. Those are the guys that are going to come out and earn the points for us when we need them.”

Illinois hopes to continue its success this weekend at the Central Collegiate Championship, its only home meet.