Illinois track & track leaves Nashville with personal bests, two school records


Photo courtesy of Illini Athletics

Graduate student Jon Davis runs during the Indoor Music City Challenge on Friday. Davis and junior Olivia Howell set new school records.

By Ben Fader

This weekend, the Illini put together another strong performance at the Vanderbilt Multipurpose Facility in Nashville with three more event titles and many personal records.

Day one got off to a good start with junior Olivia Howell and graduate student Jon Davis each recording school records in their events.

This was Howell’s third week in a row, breaking her own school record in the mile event. Her time of 4:33.75 would have placed third in the country at last year’s NCAA championships, making Howell one of the top athletes in the country.

Howell also won her event in the mile, joining freshman Tacoria Humphrey as the only two event titles from day one in the event.

Humphrey shined once again with a personal record of 1.78m in the seeded women’s high jump and continues to perform nicely with her scores this year as a freshman and has a bright future for the Illini.

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So far this season, Humphrey has become “mentally stronger, and I’m learning what it takes to be the best in )the) high jump.”

Despite facing some very good competition this year, Humphrey has not been fazed and knows what she can do, just wanting “to showcase that my potential is limitless.”

She has a lot more to prove in the next three years, but the start of her career has been great up to this point.

Another Illini who continues to perform well weekly is junior Tyler Sudduth. After joining the 19m club earlier this season, Sudduth has worked hard to improve ahead of the conference meet.

On day two, the Illini got their third and final event title of the meet when freshman Nicolas Dovalovsky won the men’s unseeded 800m with a time of 1:51.

The men’s relay team finished the meet on a good note for the Illini with their best time of the season, and recording a time of 3:12 and second-place finish sets this team up well as they prepare for the postseason.

The Illini finished the weekend with 31 personal bests:

High jump: Tacoria Humphrey, CJ Shoaf

Weight throw: Brian Keyes

Long jump: Mia Abraham, Daniel Mboyo

Shot put: Tyler Sudduth

Pole vault: Kelsey Rothas

60m hurdles: Kenli Nettles, Robert Williams

200m: Mia Abraham, Bret Dannis

400m: Logan Neely, Keegan Anderson, Kashief King

600m: Robert Williams, Abby Lynch, Danni Stoughton

800m: Nicolas Dovalovsky, William Merrick, Olivia Howell

Mile: Olivia Howell, Emma Milburn, Halle Hill, Jon Davis

3000m: Madison Marasco, Maggie Gamboa, Edwin Siuda, Eddie Lennon

5000m: Allison McGrath, Jack Roberts, Tyler Cushing 

Up next, the Illini return home for the Illini Classic on Friday. The meet will take place in the Armory and will be the final meet of the indoor regular season.

Admission will be free for the meet, and it is the final chance to see the Illini before they compete in the Big Ten Championship on Feb. 25.



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