Personal bests and Senior Day highlight Illini invitational for Illinois track & field


Sydney Laput

Freshman DeVontae Ford leaps over the hurdles alongside teammate junior Robert Williams during their 110 meter hurdles event for the Illini Invitational on Saturday. Ford placed third with 13.91 seconds and Williams placed eleventh with 14.66 during the 110 meter hurdles event.

By Ben Fader, Staff Writer

It was the nicest weekend of weather in 2022 in Champaign where the Illinois men’s and women’s track & field teams hosted the Illini Invitational.

Temperatures were in the 70s with a little bit of wind, aiding runners on the backstretch and making for excellent conditions at Demirjian Park.

The Illini recorded eight personal bests and four event titles on day one of the invitational with the wind playing a factor in the fast times.

Junior Robert Williams and freshman DeVontae Ford each ran personal bests, separated by thousandths of a second in the 400m hurdles, but the upperclassmen Williams was able to edge out the event title.

The 200m was a strong race for the women, with juniors Jessica McDowell, Danni Stoughton and senior Nya Carr all recording personal bests. McDowell took the title with a time of 23.60.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Senior Emma Milburn entered the meet coming off a steeplechase performance that etched herself in program history and won the women’s 1500m, showing her consistency late in the season.

Day two started with some field events before the senior celebration and running events which followed.

All 23 seniors were recognized at 3:30 p.m. for their contributions to the program over the years. This is the final home meet of their collegiate careers and the team performed well to honor them.

The first event title for the Illini on day two was won by the men’s 4×100 relay which has put together a nice season up to this point.

Senior Bret Dannis and Ford also placed top three in the men’s 110m hurdles as both recorded personal bests. Dannis took the event title on Saturday.

Senior Nya Carr also managed to take a title in the 100m on senior day, making her last home meet one to remember.

Olivia Howell returned to action on Saturday and the junior dominated her 800m race to take first place.

The women’s 400m race was also pure domination for the Illini as junior Jessica McDowell, freshman Logan Neely and Stoughton swept the top three spots.

This trio was joined by sophomore Kenli Nettles for the 4x400m relay, which took first place with a time of 3:41.

It was a slower day in the field events for the Illini, but graduate student Kristin Higgins won the women’s high jump with a personal best jump of 1.75m

Up next the Illini travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays starting on Tuesday and going to Friday. This will be the final meet of the 2022 regular season and last competition before the Big Ten Championships.



[email protected]