Men’s track team takes first at home

 

 

By Kevin Olsen

The Illinois men’s track and field team took home first place in dominating fashion in front of a packed home crowd Saturday. The team won 10 events and finished with 208 total points, which easily distanced them from second place Southern Illinois (134) and Eastern Illinois (113) in the Carle/Health Alliance Classic.

The star of the day was sophomore Dominique Worsley, who won the 60- and 200- meter sprints, including a season-best time of 6.78 seconds in the 60.

“I think I can go all the way and pick up where I left off freshman year,” Worsley said. “My times are getting down and getting lower and lower so I’m hoping to pick up from there.”

Junior All-American Lesiba Masheto competed in shorter events to build up speed for future 400-meter races, his signature event, and finished fourth in the 200. Masheto was also part of the 4×400 relay team that took first, along with Brandon Gray, Dan Jones and Gary Miller.

Other Illini winners included senior Trent Hoerr, who competed in his first meet of the indoor season since finishing cross country. Hoerr won the mile race in 4:13 while preparing for his longer events, the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

“I was a little rusty in the first 600 meters … after that I was able to relax and felt good,” Hoerr said.

The Illini were equally impressive in the field as well. Andrew Zollner won his second consecutive meet in the pole vault with a height of 16 feet 4 3/4 inches, beating out teammate Will Schaeffer. Senior Nick Brown competed in his first meet of the year and finished second in the long jump.

“We wanted to be at a level of intensity and motivation to come here and get a lot done and we did,” said head coach Wayne Angel. “I think overall the things we wanted to accomplish, we did and we were consistent. We’ve been consistent [all year] and I think we’re moving in the right direction in getting better.”

In capturing the 60-meter hurdles in a career-best 8.31 seconds, freshman Joshua Gist won his first collegiate event.

Illinois dominated the eight-team field in the middle distance events. Miller won the 600 meters in 1:20:78. Sophomore Isaiah Robbins finished second in the event with a personal best time of 1:21:67. Other winners include Scott Phelps in the 800 in a personal best 1:53.61 and sophomore Brian Beaird won the 1,000 meters in 2:30:62. It was the third time this season Beaird has won an event. Sophomore Rob Pykosz also won the 3,000 meters in a time of 8:44:13.

“I was talking to Coach and he was saying we are starting to look more and more like a really great track team right now,” Worsley said.

Illinois will travel to Lincoln, Neb. next weekend to compete in the Husker Invitational.

“I don’t know if I want to bring them down to earth,” Angel said. “We got Nebraska next week, and I want to keep them there so we can make that next step.”