Illini Track and Field Send 22 Qualifiers to the NCAA West Preliminaries

Illini Track and Field Send 22 Qualifiers to the NCAA West Preliminaries

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois men’s and women’s track and field teams both have qualified to the NCAA West Preliminaries hosted by Sacramento State at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif. on May 24-27. 22 total Illini will make the trip to California, 12 men and 10 women.


The top-48 individuals from their respective events qualify for the prelims alongside the top-24 relay teams. The top-12 times/marks and top-12 relays from both the East and West Prelims will move on to the NCAA Championships scheduled for June 7-10 in Austin, Texas. The action will be live streamed on ESPN+.


Leading the way for Illini qualifiers is reigning three-time 1500m Big Ten Champion Olivia Howell. Howell won her third straight 1500m title last weekend with a time of 4:20.13. Aiden Ouimet bested his own decathlon school record in his bronze medal finish last weekend (7,679 points). He’s already punched his ticket to the NCAA Championships and he will be an alternate in the 4x400m relay next weekend.

Tacoria Humphrey is one of four athletes to qualify in multiple events, the only woman to do so. She’s set to compete in the long jump and high jump after taking second and fourth, respectively, at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.

The other three athletes with multiple entries include: DeVontae Ford (110mH/400mH), Tyler Sudduth (Shot Put/Discus) and Robert Williams (400mH/4x400m). Ford captured bronze in the 400mH on a PB time (50.93) and ran the program’s tenth fastest 110mH to take sixth (13.91). Sudduth made the podium in both discus (fourth) and shot put (eighth). Williams anchored the 4x400m team to a second-place finish and ran the program’s ninth fastest 400mH in the preliminary round (50.56).  

A trio of pole vaulters made the cut, led by Big Ten silver medalist Tori Thomas. Thomas improved her program’s second best vault to 4.36m (14-3 1/2). Mia Morello moved her way up to fourth in the Illini record book with a 4.16m (13-7 3/4) vault. Kelsey Rothas rounds out the pole vault qualifiers with a mark of 4.16m (13-7 3/4) set earlier in the season.

Bret Dannis qualified in the 110mH; he sprinted the program’s sixth fastest time (13.78) in the preliminary round last weekend. Tracy Towns clocked a 2:06.79 800m (ninth in school history) to qualify herself. Will O’Brien laid down…

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