Howell dominates, Illinois track & field sets personal records at Meyo Invitational 


Sydney Laput

Illinois track & field Aiden Ouimet successful goes over the bar for his pole vault event during the Illini Invitational on Jan. 22. Ouimet recorded a personal best for his 60m hurdles event during the Meyo Invitational.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

The Illini continued to improve this weekend as they visited the Loftus Sports Center at the University of Notre Dame for the Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Several athletes were kept out of the meet for rest, but the athletes who did compete performed well, led once again by junior Olivia Howell.

Just seven days after setting the school record in the mile, Howell broke her own record with a blistering time of 4:37.11.

“Following the training and goals the coach sets for me and having great teammates that push me” is what Howell says helped her get where she is today.

“I plan to break the record again,” Howell said. “I want to try and get the time down to make it to the national meet.”

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Howell has put herself in an excellent position for the national meet with her current time and is poised to be one of the top women in the country if she continues to improve at this pace.

Graduate student Allison McGrath was the only other Illini to take an event title this weekend as she set a personal record of 9:37.89 in the women’s 3000m.

Although these were the only two event titles, 16 additional Illini set personal records on the weekend:

Men’s 3000m: junior Eddie Lennon, sophomore Will Giblin, junior Logan Hall, sophomore Ben Giblin, junior Colin Yandel and junior Jack Roberts.

Women’s 3000m: senior Emma Wilburn.

Men’s mile: junior Will O’Brien.

Women’s mile: freshman Amalia Malecek.

Men’s 60m hurdles: junior Aiden Ouimet and junior Alexander Babbington.

Women’s 60m hurdles: sophomore Kenli Nettles.

Men’s 800m: graduate Jon Davis.

Men’s shot put: junior Tyler Sudduth, junior Will Rezny and junior Billy Matzek.

Ouimet has been great for the Illini this season and recorded another personal best in South Bend with a 60m hurdles time of 8.67 seconds. Ouimet is able to keep improving because he doesn’t worry about the athletes around him.

“When I go to a good meet, I just want to prove to myself that I can put up good numbers and just prepare for the Big Ten (Championships),” Ouimet said.

This has shown through his performances thus far, winning an event in the Illini Invitational and recording several personal records throughout this season.

Ouimet’s go-to before his meets? Mia Za’s on Green Street.

“Every Thursday night, I’ll head over for some carbs,” Ouimet said. “I always eat pasta. … I also tend to visualize what I want to do, like on the bus ride to Notre Dame, I was thinking about the pole vault.”

The Illini will compete next on Feb. 11 and 12, when the team will be splitting up on the road one last time before they come home for the Illini Classic on Feb. 18.



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