Illini Track and Field Primed for Big Ten Outdoor Championships

Illini Track and Field Primed for Big Ten Outdoor Championships

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Fighting Illini track and field programs are set for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind. on Fri.-Sun. May 12-14. Nearly 40 Illini will make the trip, including junior and National Champion Olivia Howell. She will compete in the 1,500m, the 5,000m and the 4x400m relay. At the East Coast Relays on April 29 she improved her 800m time to 2:02.50; it’s second in school history and sits at tenth in the country for this season. 

33 new or improved top-10 program marks were set in Director of Track, Field and Cross Country Petros Kyprianou‘s first outdoor season. This brings the combined indoor and outdoor regular season top-10 total to 68 in the first Kyprianou regime. Four of the 33 marks this season were school records: sophomore Tacoria Humphrey in the long jump twice (6.39m on March 25 and 6.55m on April 8), junior Aiden Ouimet in the decathlon (7,433 points on April 13) and freshman Olivia Campbell in the hammer throw (60.55m on April 21). Humphrey’s 6.55m (21-6) long jump ranks seventh in the country this year. 

Junior Tyler Sudduth continues to inch closer to the shot put school record. He sits at second and improved his mark to 19.34m (63-5 1/2), currently 20th in the nation, at the Gary Wieneke Memorial on April 22. He’s finished in the top-two in five of his six shot put appearances this outdoor season with four wins. In discus he’s moved up to third in the record book, 56.59m (185-8), and he never finished lower than fourth in his five appearances with three wins.

Sophomore Tori Thomas vaulted up to second in the record book and broke 14 feet for the first time at the Long Beach Invitational on April 15, 4.27m (14). Graduate student Emma Milburn (10:15.79) and fifth year Ayah Aldadah (10:16.46) continue to climb the 3,000m steeplechase Illini leaderboards. They sit at third and fourth respectively and those marks were run at the East Coast Relays on April 28.

Senior Alex Babbington broke into the top-five of the high jump list at the Gary Wieneke Memorial on April 22. He is now fourth with his 2.13m (6-11 3/4) jump. At the same meet junior Kelsey Rothas vaulted herself up to fourth, 4.16m (13-7).

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