Illinois track & field split up on second weekend of outdoor season


Cameron Krasucki

Senior Nya Carr warms up before the start of the Fighting Illini Big Ten Relays on April 24. The Illini will be away in Normal for the 2-day Red Bird Invite on Friday and Saturday.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

The Illini will send groups to two different meets on the second weekend of the 2022 outdoor track & field season.

Distance runners on the team will head to Stanford, California, on Friday and Saturday for the Stanford Invitational. It is expected to reach 70 degrees in Stanford this weekend, which will make for excellent racing conditions for the Illinois distance runners.

This meet will include many teams, including Air Force, Gonzaga, Iowa, Liberty, Miami, North Dakota, California, UC Davis, BYU, Portland, Utah, Boise State, UCLA, Oklahoma State, New Mexico, Utah State, Michigan, Tulsa, Arkansas and more.

The Redbird Invite in Normal, Illinois, will also have Illini participants on Friday and Saturday, but not many, as junior Nya Carr describes it.

“You are only going there if there’s something specific you need to work on right now,” Carr said.

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Schools competing in the Redbird Invite include Ball State, Bradley, Butler, Illinois Wesleyan, Loyola, Marquette, Notre Dame, NIU, UIC, UW-Milwaukee, Valparaiso and Wisconsin.

Normal, Illinois, will reach a high of 51 degrees, with 14 mph winds and steady rain throughout the day. It’s not ideal for anyone participating in the meet, and the conditions will make it challenging to meet desired times.

That being said, Carr is very grateful to be competing outside again.

“It’s a huge difference,” Carr said. “I know we are in Illinois right now, but being able to travel down south or out to California for warmer weather is great.”

Coming off a 200m personal best with a time of 24.69 and helping the 4×100 relay finish second, Carr is highly confident and at her best entering this outdoor season.

“I am really happy with that, and I feel like I can do a lot better also because it was my first time running the 200m outdoor in college,” Carr said.

One thing Carr was sure about was the improvement we are going to see this season from the Illini.

“Our new coach just pushes us and motivates us and our entire team,” Carr said. “Everyone wants to work and be there every day, and we can get a lot better.”

With competitive schools at both meets, the Illini will look to take advantage of the opportunity to get a lot better in week two.

The Stanford Invitational will be broadcast on FloTrack on both days, and live results of the Redbird Invite can be found here.

Next, the Illini come back to Champaign for their first home meet of the outdoor season. April 8 and 9 at Demirjian Park will be the first time the Illini have hosted an outdoor meet at the track complex in almost a year.



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