Illinois track & field wraps up indoor regular season with Illini Classic in Champaign


Sydney Laput

Thrower Tyler Sudduth prepares to launch the weight during his weight throw event during the Illini Invitational on Jan. 22. The Illini will be back home on Friday for the Illini Classic.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

The Illini return home for the Illini Classic on Friday, which will be the final meet of the indoor track & field regular season and will be hosted at the Armory in Champaign.

After solid performances in every meet this year, Illinois has seen a lot of improvement over the course of their season, sending the program in the right direction ahead of the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 25-26 and the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11-12.

The team has great athletes from freshmen to graduate students all making an impact, and Friday will give them one last chance to prepare for the postseason that they have been training for since the beginning of the year.

Several teams will join the Illini in Champaign for the meet, including Illinois State and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Freshman Tacoria Humphrey will look to continue her fantastic freshman season strong in these last couple of weeks.

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“My goal is to finish in the six-foot club,” Humphrey said, as her personal record on the year came last weekend in the Indoor Music City Challenge at around 5.8 feet.

Another goal Humphrey has for her first indoor postseason is “to win Big Ten or to place top three as a freshman.”

A top-three finish for a freshman is high aspirations, but Humphrey is capable and has shown it throughout each meet this season as she constantly sets expectations for herself.

“I just want to make the next bar and jump even higher,” Humphrey said.

Another athlete looking to get a little bit better right before the postseason is junior Tyler Sudduth. Sudduth is coming off an excellent performance in Nashville, where he recorded the 11th longest weight throw in the country so far this season.

“It’s great to see all the hard work pay off, and I’m just going to keep working with Coach Turk,” Sudduth said. “He has been a very big help to me.”

His best throws have come at a good time right before the conference and national championships, and Sudduth is still eager to get better.

“I know we have a lot of really good throwers in the Big Ten this year,” Sudduth said. “I just want to perform to the best of my ability and hopefully solidify a spot in the top 16, so I can advance to nationals.”

The meet will be broadcasted by Fighting Illini Productions, and live results will be updated at

Events will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday with the women’s weight throw and end around 8:30 with the 400m relays.

Next for the Illini is the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio. The two-day meet will take place on Feb. 25 -26 and will be the team’s biggest meet of the year.



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