Intensity fuels track victory



By Stuart Lieberman

The Illinois men’s track team raised their level of intensity from their meet in Tennessee a week ago, coming home to capture first place in the Carle/Health Alliance Invite on Saturday at the Armory. The Illini dominated the meet with a score of 180 points, ahead of second-place Middle Tennessee State who finished with 107 points.

“Up and down the board the performances were solid,” head coach Wayne Angel said about the Illini coming away with seven first-place finishes.

One of the highlights was the impressive debut of sophomore Lesiba Masheto, a new recruit from Botswana. Masheto snagged first place in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:19.28. Another outstanding performer was junior John Adamczyk, who won the pole vault with a height of 16’05.50″.

In addition, freshman Brian Beaird won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.06. Sophomore Greg Shroka won first place in the high jump with a height of 6’10.25,” and junior Nick Brown won the triple jump with a height of 49’03.00.” The Illini also finished first in the distance medley relay and snagged first and second in the 4×400 meter relay.

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    Many of the young athletes proved themselves, and their individual scores really impressed the home crowd.

    “Some of the jumpers and sprinters stepped up,” Adamczyk said.

    For a team as young as Illinois, the meet offered a chance to build commitment, increase consistency and raise the level of intensity. This kind of meet is just what the program needed right now in order to steer them in the right direction.

    “It gave everyone the opportunity to prepare themselves as we move down the road,” Angel said.

    The team began the season a little rough, but after this meet Adamczyk said the team feels that things are falling into place.

    “It is a good indicator that we are coming together as a team,” Adamczyk said. “(We) are going forward slowly but steadily.”

    Adamczyk also said that with only a few more meets before the Big Ten season, the team is beginning to step up.

    “(We will) use this meet as a stepping stone,” Angel said.

    Next weekend, the Illini will travel to South Bend, Ind., to compete in the Meyo Invitational.