Illini track & field heads to Big Ten Indoor Championships in Ohio


Photo courtesy of Craig Pessman/Illinois Athletics

Runner Jon Davis takes the lead in his event during the 2021 Big Ten Outdoor Championships on May 16. Davis is one of three Illinois runners to place within the top 15 for the mile.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

The Illini travel to the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, this weekend to compete in the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. The meet spans two days from Friday to Saturday.

The meet for a Big Ten title is something to look forward to all year, and there will be plenty of top tier teams and runners participating in Ohio.

For the women, in the latest national track and field rankings, there are three Big Ten schools that make the top 25: No. 13 Ohio State, No. 17 Nebraska and No. 19 Penn State.

There are also a lot of Big Ten women who have placed in the top 15 in their event at some point this year, meaning that they have a very good chance of advancing to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships in three weeks.

Female athletes who placed top 15 in their event so far this year are:

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60m: Anavia Battle (Ohio State) and Lasarah Hargrove (Iowa)

200m: Anavia Battle (Ohio State)

800m: Allison Johnson (Penn State), Aurora Rynda (Michigan) and Victoria Tachinski (Penn State)

Mile: Olivia Howell (Illinois)

5,000m: Jenna Magness (Michigan State)

4×400 relay: Iowa and Minnesota

Distance medley relay: Michigan

High jump: Jenna Rogers (Nebraska) and Amaya Ugarte (Ohio State)

Pole vault: Sophia Franklin (Michigan State) and Jessica Mercier (Michigan)

Long jump: Darby Thomas (Nebraska)

Shot put: Adelaide Aquilla (Ohio State), Axelina Johansson (Nebraska), Josie Schaefer (Wisconsin) and Mallory Kauffman (Penn State)

For the men, there are also three Big Ten schools in the latest rankings with No. 8 Iowa, No. 18 Michigan State and No. 19 Nebraska all placed in the top 25.

Male athletes who placed top 15 runners in their event are:

60m: Rikkoi Brathwaite (Indiana), Kalen Walker (Iowa) and Lawrence Johnson (Wisconsin)

400m: Jenoah Mckiver (Iowa), Chadrick Richards (Iowa) and Tyler Johnson (Ohio State)

800m: Miles Brown (Michigan), Abdullahi Hassan (Wisconsin) and Cole Johnson (Michigan)

Mile: Morgan Beadlescomb (Michigan State), Jon Davis (Illinois) and Evan Dorenkamp (Penn State)

3,000m: Morgan Beadlescomb (Michigan State), Ben Veatch (Indiana) and Olin Hacker (Wisconsin)

60m hurdles: Darius Luff (Nebraska) and Joshua Zeller (Michigan)

4×400 relay: Iowa

Distance medley relay: Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State

High jump: Mayson Conner (Nebraska)

Pole vault: Trevor Stephenson (Michigan State) and Nathan Stone (Indiana)

Long jump: A’Nan Bridgett (Rutgers) and Sincere Robinson (Rutgers)

Triple jump: Clarence Foote-Talley (Ohio State)

Shot put: Burger Lambrechts (Nebraska), Alexander Talley (Nebraska), Andrew Stone (Wisconsin) and Tyler Sudduth (Illinois)

Weight throw: Alexander Talley (Nebraska), Tyler Lienau (Iowa) and Tyler Merkley (Penn State)

Heptathlon: Austin West (Iowa) and Heath Baldwin (Michigan State)

The Illini certainly have their work cut out for them, but the program has worked all year for this meet and is ready to fight for a conference title.

The meet will start at 9:50 a.m. with the pentathlon on Friday and 10 a.m. with the heptathlon on Saturday.

Next for the Illini will be the NCAA Indoor Championships, which only a select few will qualify for. The rest of the team will then prepare for the outdoor season after giving it their all in this indoor campaign.



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