Illinois track & field battles erratic conditions at Gary Wieneke Memorial Meet

By Said Nonoal, Staff Writer

Last weekend, Illinois men’s and women’s track and field took on a plethora of Midwest rivals, where the Illini took top finishes in multiple events for the men’s and women’s programs. 

While day one of the meet presented near-ideal conditions for competing, day two brought cloudy and windy conditions for the programs.

In distance, freshman Alex Partlow took 6th place in the 5000-meter run, finishing in 14:39. 

In the men’s 1500-meter, seniors Will O’Brien and Colin Yandel took second and third place finishing around 3:45. For the women, senior Tracy Towns placed fourth for the 1500-meter run, finishing with a 4:28 finish.

Grad student Kionnah Weaver and freshman Macee Rivers placed first and second in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. 

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Freshman Tadeas Placek won the men’s 400-meter race, finishing in 47.80 seconds. While sophomore Nicolas Dovalowsky was barely beaten out by Bradley’s Will Smith in the men’s 800-meter run. Dovalowsky finished with a time of 1:54.05. Sophomore Lydia Malecek won the women’s 800-meter run, finishing in 2:13.07. 

In the men’s long jump, a trio of Illini placed in the top four in the men’s long jump. The trio included graduate student Bret Danis, junior Aiden Ouiment and sophomore Daniel Mboyo. 

The women’s throwing squad is made up of all freshmen, and last weekend, freshman Olivia Campbell broke a school record for the women’s hammer throw. 

For men’s throwing, sophomore Tyler Sudduth finished first in the men’s discus throw and shot put, once again displaying dominance amongst NCAA throwers. Junior Hunter Henderson finished second behind Sudduth in the shot put. While Senior Bryan Keyes finished fifth in the men’s hammer throw.

Head coach Lambert added that although Sudduth has been dominant in most meets this season, he still needs to improve and work on his shot put.

“The consistency is good,” Lambert said. “We’re still missing one or two things that’s keeping him from, having like the big outbreak in the shot (put).”

The throwing squad had outstanding performances last weekend, on both the women’s and men’s sides of the meet.

“I would say overall today was pretty good (for the men’s throwing squad),” Lambert said. “Especially for the conditions you know, given, with it being a little bit colder.”

Freshman Olivia Campbell broke the school record for the Illini, as a freshman. She is part of the throwing squad which is made up of all freshmen this season.

“Campbell’s school record as a true freshman, that’s very impressive, which should be about a regional qualifying mark,” Lambert said. “Right now she’s right at No. 2 in the U.S., I believe, under 20s. So it’s a good place to be. Now we just have to work on and be more consistent at that higher level now that she’s hitting it.” 

The Illini will be competing at the UNF Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida.

“They progress well,” Lambert said. “From where we started to where we’re at now. I think they’ve done a fairly good job.”


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