Illinois men’s track and field wins third meet of outdoor season

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Illinois men’s track and field wins third meet of outdoor season

Joe McAsey (600) runs in the 1 Mile Event during the Orange and Blue Open at the Armory on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012.

Joe McAsey (600) runs in the 1 Mile Event during the Orange and Blue Open at the Armory on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012.

Joe McAsey (600) runs in the 1 Mile Event during the Orange and Blue Open at the Armory on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012.

Joe McAsey (600) runs in the 1 Mile Event during the Orange and Blue Open at the Armory on Saturday Feb. 4, 2012.

The Illinois men’s track and field team had seven first-place finishes Saturday, contributing to its third outdoor competition victory of the season at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Arizona. In the event hosted by the University of Arizona, the Illini competed in a field that included Arizona, Purdue, No. 5 University of Southern California, and No. 4 LSU. These were the highest-ranked teams Illinois has faced during the outdoor season. 

Head coach Mike Turk’s team scored in 17 events, totaling 181 points en route to the victory and finishing 21 points ahead of second-place LSU. 

Junior Joe McAsey finished first in the 800 meters in 1 minute, 50 seconds, while freshman Garrett Lee claimed the 1,500 meters title in 3:52.13. 

Five Illinois runners scored team points in the 3,000 meters. Junior Ian Barnett won the event, while teammate junior Dylan Lafond finished in second. Jannis Toepfer, Garrett Lee and Brendan McDonnell finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Toepfer added a victory in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

Junior Cam Viney produced the only short-distance event win for the Illini in the sprints. He won the 400-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 49.92 seconds, the fifth-best time in the NCAA this season. Senior Davis Fraker now ranks 14th in the NCAA standings this season after finishing second in the hammer throw — he topped his own school record with a throw of 65.36 meters. 

Freshman Jonathan Wells won the high jump, while junior Ben Dodds threw 65.64 meters, taking the javelin title.

Illinois looks to continue its three-event winning streak next weekend: It hosts the Illinois Twilight meet Saturday.

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