Davis, Jazo capture individual titles at Alex Wilson Invitational


Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Jon Davis runs on the Armory’s track for the one-mile run during the Illini Invitational.

By Renato Arteaga, Staff writer

The Illinois men’s track and field team competed at the 2020 Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, on Saturday. All the events at this meet took place in the Loftus Sports Center and featured nationally-ranked No. 12 Indiana and No. 20 Iowa.

Although a small selection of the team competed at this meet, they managed to capture two event titles in the pole vault and one-mile race.

Redshirt junior Cooper Jazo placed first overall in the pole vault event with a 5.15-meter jump. Last week at the Music City Invitational, he placed second with a personal record of 5.20 meters.

Jazo came into this week’s meet ranked sixth in the Big Ten because of his personal-best record from Music City, according to fightingillini.com.

Redshirt senior Jacob LaRocca also competed alongside Jazo, placing second overall with a marking of 5.00 meters.

In the one-mile race, redshirt junior Jon Davis finished in first place overall with a time of 4:06.68. He finished more than a second faster than the second-place finisher from University of California, Los Angeles.

Last year at the 2019 Alex Wilson Invitational, Davis also had a strong performance, where the Illini placed third overall in the men’s distance medley relay.

Redshirt freshman Colin Yandel also finished sixth in the men’s one-mile race with a time of 4:17.39. This time sets his personal-best mile finish, which was previously set at this year’s Illini Invitational with a time of 4:20.27.

The Illini also found success in the high jump event, although redshirt senior Jonathan Wells didn’t compete in this event.

Freshman  Alexander Babbington placed second in the high jump with a mark of 1.95 meters.

Another freshman, Michael Shafis, also competed in the same event and placed fifth with a mark of 1.85 meters. He also placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles event with a time of 9.66 seconds.

Redshirt freshmen Will Renzy and Billy Matzek finished seventh and ninth, respectively, in the men’s shotput event with marks of 16.13 meters and 15.50 meters, respectively.

This finish marks Renzy’s new personal best of the season after he set his previous record last week at the Music City Challenge.

Redshirt  junior Kashief King also found some success at this meet when he placed tenth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.49 seconds.

Following this meet, the men’s team will be competing at the 2020 Indoor Big Ten Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

The championship meet will take place on Friday and Saturday.

[email protected]