Joseph and Fraker compete for Illinois men’s track at NCAA Indoor Championships

Senior hurdler Vanier Joseph finished 10th and junior weight thrower Davis Fraker finished 15th at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend.

Joseph ran the final race of his indoor career at the meet and finished in 7.75 seconds, just .06 seconds away from qualifying for a spot in the finals. Still, Joseph said he is satisfied with his performance.  

“Being able to make it back to NCAA two years in a row off of transferring and being injured earlier in the season and being able to end pretty much on a season (personal record),” Joseph said.

Joseph was able to improve upon an 11th-place finish at indoor nationals last season and also outperformed his national ranking. Joseph came in as the 16th of 16 hurdlers to qualify but managed to top higher seeds. 

Joseph added that he was proud to represent the Illini in the final indoor competition of the season.

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“Coming and being able to represent is as good of a motive as making finals,” Joseph said.

Fraker competed at indoor nationals for the second time in his career in the weight throw, an event for which he holds the all-time high school record. He said he was very disappointed with his performance of 19.55 meters, about a meter and a half off his 20.99 meter personal best and school record, which he threw at Big Tens on March 1.  

“I think that was one of my worst distance-wise performances I’ve had all year,” Fraker said. “It was also probably the worst I’ve executed all year.”

Fraker fouled on his first two of three attempts, recording a foot foul and a sector foul. Fraker said both are fouls he has never really had before. After that, he said he just couldn’t put together a good throw. Fraker still came away with a 14th-place finish, one spot above his No. 15-place national ranking before the meet.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve thrown well, and it was really nice to break through that and get to a national meet,” Fraker said. “This is the first time I P.R.’d in the weight throw since my true freshman year.”

Fraker and Joseph will now put their indoor performances behind them and turn their focus toward the outdoor season. Joseph will compete in the 110-meter hurdles, and Fraker will likely specialize in the hammer throw.

While Fraker and Joseph competed at nationals, Turk said the rest of the team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming outdoor season.

“We’ve really challenged them to keep the intensity and their competitive spirit alive and really focus on bringing their best effort to practice,” Turk said.

Chris can be reached at [email protected].