Aiden Ouimet headlines 25 personal-best weekend for Illinois track & field


Cameron Krasucki

Multi-Event Aidan Ouimet takes a leap into the sand pit for the long jump event during the track field invite on Jan. 21. Ouimet recently set new personal records in six categories as well as surpassing the previous decathlon record held by the University.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

For the second time this season, the Illini sent two groups to different meets in the same weekend. The Illini had an impressive showing in both meets recording 25 personal bests and a couple event champions as well.

Junior Aiden Ouimet set the tone for the weekend with a program record in the decathlon where he scored 7,348 points. Recording personal bests in six different categories, Ouimet surpassed the previous school record by 195 points. A performance which he claims, “came out of nowhere.”

Ouimet reflected on the perfect weather he was given during his events, with the temperature being a perfect 70 degrees.

“The air quality and weather during the outdoor season is more fun and definitely helps,” Ouimet said.

Another thing that comes with the outdoor season is the energy. The energy from great performances has the ability to lift his teammates even more than indoor.

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“When one person does well, everyone feeds off of it,” Ouimet said.

Ouimet performed well and allowed his teammates to feed off of his opening event, leading to a terrific weekend for the whole team. Ouimet is still new to the decathlon, but he hopes this performance will unlock another level to his game.

“Maybe now I can cut loose a little and keep working to improve,” Ouimet said.

Later on Thursday, senior Emma Wilburn ran the first 3000m steeplechase of her career and finished with the sixth best time in program history at just 10:27.

Freshman Sam Poglitsch joined her in history with the tenth best time ever in the program at 10:32.

On Friday, personal bests continued to be broken, starting with junior Billy Matzek in the men’s shot put after a throw of 16.96m. Freshman Tacoria Humphrey won the women’s high jump for the second meet in a row with a personal best jump of 1.74m.

In the afternoon, graduate student Jon Davis added to the list of Illini making history this weekend as he ran the men’s 1500m in 3:36. This time placed Davis second in program history for the 1500m and just three seconds behind the first place time. 

The final personal bests were littered with freshmen, which was a promising sight to see younger athletes contributing.

Freshman DeVontae Ford recorded multiple personal bests in the men’s 110m hurdles and the men’s 400m hurdles with times of 14.26 and 52.06 respectively. Freshman Tori Thomas tied her personal best in the pole vault at 4.15m while freshman Logan Neely recorded a personal record of 1:01 in the women’s 400m hurdles.

Junior Tyler Sudduth finished the weekend with another gem placing first in the shot put once again with an outdoor personal best and the third best mark in program history at 19.13m. 

Next the Illini return home for a tuneup at Demirjian Park in the Illini Invitational which will be the final meet in Champaign for the season.



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