Men’s and women’s track and field recap


Constance Sarantos

UIUC student Jonathan Davis gets first place at Men 800 meter run with a time of 1:52:17.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff writer

Men’s track and field:

The No. 20-ranked Illinois men’s track and field team saw several personal bests in individual events during the team’s second and final home indoor meet, the Illini Invitational, on Saturday.

Sophomore sprinter Jason Shannon set personal records in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, and sophomore pole vaulter Curtis Gordon won the men’s heptathlon. Senior distance runner Dan Lathrop won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:28.85, and junior distance runner Jon Davis set a personal record in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.

“I came in today just trying to run my race,” Shannon said. “The last two meets I tried to PR, and that didn’t happen … It turned out to be a pretty good day.”

Head coach Mike Turk has seen the team steadily improve this season, and Saturday’s meet was a testament to that.

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“We’re a little under the radar,” Turk said. “Our internal expectations are starting to rise, and I think we’re riding some momentum now.”

Women’s track and field:

The Illinois women’s track and field team also saw several personal bests and won multiple event titles at the Illini Invitational.

Senior long jumper and sprinter Briana Driver won the long jump with a distance of 5.86 meters and finished fourth in the 60-meter dash. Junior sprinter Felicia Phillips won the 200-meter dash. Sophomore distance runner Nicki Cast won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:04.46, and sophomore distance runner Rebecca Craddock finished second in the mile.

“It’s nice to see other teammates, especially in different event groups, PR,” Driver said. “We don’t get to see them during the week as much as we’d like to, but once we see them come out and show what they’ve done in practice, the PRs carry over.”

Head coach Mike Turk thought the team was still showing their youthfulness, but said the Illini have begun improving over the course of several indoor meets. Overall, the team is becoming stronger and learning from mistakes.

“Our energy was really good, our focus was really good,” Turk said. “We’re young, we still make some tactical mistakes here and there, but I think we’re learning from those.”

Despite the majority of the roster being underclassmen, the team benefited from the home meet environment.

“The home crowd here is always great,” Driver said.  “We have a lot of Champaign locals come out that don’t even have kids on the team and just come out and support. It’s very nice.”

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