NCAA

McDowell Wins 400m Big Ten Gold on Final Day of Big Ten Outdoor Championships

McDowell Wins 400m Big Ten Gold on Final Day of Big Ten Outdoor Championships


Full Results

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Illinois men’s and No. 5 women’s track and field teams finished the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on Sunday (May 12). Junior Jessica McDowell cruised to victory in the 400m dash (51.73) to earn gold and 10 team points.

She becomes the Illini’s first Big Ten Champion in the event since Olympic medalist Ashley Spencer in 2013 and the seventh individual in program history to top the podium outdoors.

“This weekend was a roller coaster of emotions as we had some great things happen but some not so great as well,” said director of track, field and cross country Petros Kyprianou. “Unfortunately, track and field is a tricky sport that you must rely on experience and toughness when bad weather or adversity occurs. Some of our elite athletes prevailed and even on their ‘bad’ day still found a way to score. Huge props to our four champions and everyone that pushed to represent and honor our university that provides so much for us. Even though our women didn’t win, they had their best finish in 11 years.”

The women’s team placed fourth with 96 points, their highest finish since 2013. The four individual Big Ten Champions this weekend is the most women’s team has had since 1996. The last time they had four or more event titles in general was in 2013 which had five gold medals. The men’s team placed 11th with 46 points.

The women’s 4x100m relay team of freshmen Asia Thomas and Sophia Beckmon, junior Tacoria Humphrey and McDowell took silver to pick up eight team points (43.94). McDowell and Beckmon each ran in the 200m finals a couple hours later; McDowell placed sixth (23.61) to earn three team points and Beckmon placed eighth (23.73) to earn one team point.

Senior Robert Williams finished his final Big Ten Outdoor Championships with his first medal in the 400m hurdles (51.24) taking second place and earning eight team points. Freshman Cody Johnston also earned a silver medal today in the pole vault, clearing 5.46m (17-11) to also score eight points.

Junior Darja Sopova leapt 13.36m (43-10) in the triple jump to take third place and score six team points. Fellow junior Kam Garrett also earned bronze in the men’s high jump to score six team points, 2.14m (7-0 1/4).

Senior Will O’Brien clocked a season-best time in the men’s 1500m (3:45.83) to score three team points in his…

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