Illinois collects relay titles at Drake


Photo Courtesy of illini athletics

Senior Declan Rustay (middle left) poses with former Illini Jason Shannon (far left), Joe Haight (middle right) and Devin Quinn (far right) after winning a race at the 2019 Drake Relays.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

The Illinois track and field team traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays this weekend. The men’s team finished third out of 17 teams, and the women’s team finished second out of 18 teams, as scoring was based on relays alone.

The meet was no misnomer for Illinois, whose relay teams have fared well over the course of the season,  continuing their success at Drake.

The men’s 4×100-meter relay team featuring sophomore Jason Shannon, freshman Declan Rustay and seniors Joe Haight and Devin Quinn won both the preliminary Friday and the final Saturday.

The women’s 4×400-meter relay team won the event late Saturday. The team consisted of junior Chisom Nwoko, senior Briana Driver, sophomore Amira Aduma and junior Felicia Phillips.

On Thursday, head coach Mike Turk was inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame. Joining Turk was Celina Mondie-Milner, who was also inducted into the Illini Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

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“I’m proud of the way we ended on the relays,” Turksaid per “I was pleased when I looked up at the final standings. The men winning the 4×100 and the women winning the 4×400 were great performances. I thought the 4×400 had a good showing all-around. It was a good meet.”

The Illini also had several athletes compete at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, about half an hour from Drake’s campus. There, the Illini won four events: freshman sprinter Olivia Oliver won the 100-meter dash, freshman hurdler Kionnah Weaver won the 100-meter hurdles, and senior long jumper Ben Barnes and sophomore long jumper Wynda Wormack won the long jump.

Next for Illinois is a return trip to Iowa for the Big Ten meet. It will be held in Iowa City from May 10-12.


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