Women’s track finishes fifth at Jim Click Shootout


Junior Chisom Nwoko races for the Illini during their outdoor season. The team will now head indoors and begin to compete at Huff Hall.

By Noah Deutsch, Contributing writer

Finishing with 90 points in the team standings, the Illinois Women’s Track & Field team placed fifth overall at the Jim Click Shootout.

Chisom Nwoko and Nicole Choquette highlighted the event as Nwoko’s 400m performance, a personal best of 53.11, was the fifth-fastest in Illini history. Choquette made her outdoor 800m debut, and with a time of 2:09.63, won the race by nearly two full seconds, being the only Illini to win an event during the weekend.

As Illinois begins to look ahead towards the middle of the season, head coach Mike Turk will need his supporting cast to continue improving.

“We’re really starting to get contributions from a lot more people,” Turk said. “We’ve really just got to start to solidify some things. We’ve got a really young team, and we will need to see how we can manage them as we progress into the midpoint of the season.”

Freshman Rebecca Craddock, one of the youngest members of the team, ran the 800m as well. Her time of 2:15.43 placed fifth in the event. Earlier in the day, she finished as the runner-up in the 1500m with a time of 4:26.32.

Mikaela Lucki, also a freshman, ran alongside Craddock in the 1500m, and her time of 4:33.00 was good enough for fifth place, a major improvement from her season debut in the event as she outpaced herself by seven seconds. Lucki’s improvement symbolized a sign of consistency early on from the supporting cast, which Coach Turk continues to focus on.

“They’ll get a little worn out and tired here and there,” Turk said when speaking about the team’s freshman. “But, today they looked a little more alive and competitive, and I was really pleased with that.”

Freshmen Alexis Jones and Maya Seay ran the high and intermediate hurdles for the team, respectively, and both achieved personal bests this weekend as well. In the 110m hurdles, Seay timed 13.88, and Jones ran 14.03. Jones also timed a 1:01.46 in the 400m hurdles. All times were their bests of the season so far.

For the upperclassmen, improvements were also made. The 400m relay team including Briana Driver, Sade Hargrove, Emone’ Davis and Janile Rogers ran a faster time for the third consecutive week, clocking in at 45.25.

Driver also performed well in her field event as she tied her season-best jump of 19’3.25 (5.87m). Fellow junior Sara McKeeman placed third in the pole vault competition with a height of 12’1.5” (3.70m).

Coach Turk’s continues to push his upperclassmen and emphasizes the importance of consistency with his team.

“Our 4×100 relay is a key event and we will need to iron that out,” Turk said. “We know what our team is capable of, and like I said the key will be to get big contributions from our young guys when we need them the most.”

The Illini women return home next weekend for the Illinois Twilight meet on Saturday, April 14.


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