Howell Defends B1G 1,500m Title, Leads Women to Best Finish in 10 Years

Howell Defends B1G 1,500m Title, Leads Women to Best Finish in 10 Years

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Illinois track and field teams completed the third and final day of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday, May 14. Junior Olivia Howell defended her 1,500m B1G title for the second time. Today she ran a 4:20.13 to secure her third straight win. That’s not all, she claimed a silver medal in the 5,000m just a couple hours later with the program’s third fastest time (16:12.40). In the last lap she passed five runners, three of which were in the last 50 meters. She scored a team high 18 points and claimed first team All-Big Ten honors.

The Illinois women finished in eighth with 52.5 points, their highest finish and point total since the 2013 season when they finished second with 120 points. The men finished in ninth with 49 points. That’s their best finish and score since the 2021 season where they placed eighth with 58 points.

Sophomore DeVontae Ford led the way for the Illini men scoring nine points. He earned six from his third place finish in the 400m hurdles on a personal-best time, 50.93. He added the last three points in the 110m hurdles on the school’s tenth best time, 13.91.

“This was a very progressive weekend for us,” said Director of Track, Field and Cross Country Petros Kyprianou. “We are officially out of the double-digit place wise as a team. With the women’s team having the highest finish in the last 10 years and the men in the last two years. It’s a testament of this team buying in and the coaching staff doing a fantastic job of developing these athletes. If you compare the indoor and outdoor finishes, I am very happy where we are headed. We had some injuries of key folks who aren’t here.”

Sophomore Tori Thomas climbed her way to second in the pole vault and improved her school’s second best mark to 4.36m (14-3 1/2). She added eight points to the Illini women’s total and earned second team All-Big Ten honors.

The men’s 4x400m relay team of: junior Jason Thormo, redshirt senior Kashief King, freshman Tadeas Placek and junior Robert Williams placed second (3:06.79). All four were named to second team All-Big Ten honors.

“I’m excited about the way they responded to the challenge, the hard work and everything we had for them. Clearly the highlights are everyone who medaled and all our scorers. For me, I had a hard time remembering all who scored which is a very good…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at University of Illinois Athletics…