‘Shoes’ breaks school record at NCAA Indoor Championships

By Stuart Lieberman

The Illinois men’s track and field team concluded its indoor season Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. While fellow Big Ten Conference member Wisconsin won its first ever indoor title, the Illini were represented solely by sophomore Lesiba “Shoes” Masheto.

Shoes was seeded 15th in the 400-meter dash and entered the weekend with the goal of qualifying for the finals. He finished fifth place in the preliminary races and took fifth place in the finals with a career best time of 46.14. His time was also good enough to break the school record, set by Abe Jones in 2006, with a time of 46.18.

“He ran a very smooth, practical race,” head coach Wayne Angel said.

In his last race of the indoor season, Masheto received All-American honors. In addition to setting the school record in the 400-meter dash on Saturday, he also set the 600-meter record earlier this season.

“He capped off a great indoor season,” Angel said. “He has got all the tools and his confidence level is just amazing.”

Meanwhile, Angel said the rest of the team is anxiously awaiting the outdoor season, which they will begin Friday at the Willie Williams Classic in Tucson, Ariz.