Davis, Howell repeat as All-Americans

Junior+runner+Olivia+Howell+runs+during+the+womens+1500m+event+for+the+NCAA+Outdoor+Championship+semifinals+on+Thursday.+Howell+earned+a+Second-Team+All-American+honor+and+placed+ninth+for+the+womens+1500m+finals+event+on+Saturday.+

Photo courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Junior runner Olivia Howell runs during the women’s 1500m event for the NCAA Outdoor Championship semifinals on Thursday. Howell earned a Second-Team All-American honor and placed ninth for the women’s 1500m finals event on Saturday.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

Graduate student Jon Davis kicked off the action in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. as the first of two Illini competitors. Davis competed in the 1500m Wednesday night at Hayward Field as one of the final events on the men’s first day. He put together one of the best performances of his career in the semifinal race finishing the four laps in 3:37. The time was good enough for first in the event, and advanced Davis to the final on Friday, securing another All-American honor.

On the first day of competition for the women, Olivia Howell followed her male teammate up with an excellent performance of her own. Howell also secured an All-American spot on Thursday night as the junior recorded a 4:13 1500m race, placing fourth and qualifying for the finals on Saturday afternoon.

With both Illini advancing, they were forced to compete in rainy weather on their final days of the season.

Davis was consistent as always, as he powered his way to a sixth place finish in 3:46 and was named a First-Team All-American. The race could not have gone better for Davis as he finishes his career with a First-Team All-American race to set the stage for Howell the next day.

After Howell finished 10th in 2021, she improved by one spot on Saturday as she fought hard in a competitive group. The rainy weather cleared for Howell in the first event on ESPN as the women took off for a competitive race. The final lap was full of chaos with six different women alternating between the top two spots and Howell reached seventh before fading on the straight-away.

The season-best time of 4:12 was still good enough to earn Howell a Second-Team All-American honor, and the first female Illini to be honored multiple times in the outdoor competition since 2015.

That will wrap up the season as Howell will join the rest of the Illini returners to prepare for the 2022-2023 season.

 

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