Illini Travel to Minneapolis for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Illinois men’s and women’s track and field teams are set to compete at the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by Minnesota at the University of Minnesota Track and Field Stadium on Friday through Sunday (May 13-15).

Along with the Fighting Illini, the entirety of the Big Ten will be joining them including Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.

Competition kicks off on Friday with the decathlon’s 100m at 12 pm CT, with Saturday’s events also beginning with the decathlon, with the 110m hurdles at 10 am CT. Action on Sunday starts at 11 am CT with the men’s javelin and pole vault and the women’s triple jump.

Follow the Action
Live results will be available through PrimeTime Timing HERE and Illini fans can follow the action on @IlliniTrackXC on Twitter. All aspects of the Championships will be either streamed or televised via the Big Ten Network or B1G + (subscription required).

Last Time at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Last season, Illinois hosted the Championships at Demirjian Park for the first time since 2008. The Illini men finished the 2021 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in eighth place with 58 points, their highest finish since 2017, while the women finished their afternoon in 11th place with 31 points, their highest since 2015.

The Illini’s first gold of the weekend came from former standout Jonathan Wells, who took home first place in the men’s high jump and long jump. Wells cleared 7-2.5 ft. (2.20 m) in an intense vertical jump-off, and after his competitor was unable to match. Wells then won the men’s long jump with a leap of 25-2.5 ft. (7.68 m).

Jon Davis then started the championship Sunday with a win in the men’s 1500 m. His time of 3: 51.55 paced the group and earned ten crucial points for the men’s side. Olivia Howell followed that directly with a record-breaking performance of her own, winning the women’s 1500 m in 4: 12.86. This mark is the new Illinois program record and sets a PR for Howell.

To conclude the meet for the Illini, the quartet of Robert Williams, Jason Thormo, Aman Thornton and Kashief King took home the gold medal in the men’s 4×400 m relay, with their mark of 3: 06.26 being the fastest team relay time on the year.

Last Time Out
The Illinois men’s and women’s track team opened competition at the Drake Relays on Friday (April 29) at Drake Stadium, highlighted by junior Olivia Howell winning the women’s 1500m with a time of 4: 15.50 at the prestigious event.

The day began with the women’s 4x1600m relay team consisting of redshirt-senior Rebecca Craddockgraduate student Allison McGrathjunior Tracy Townsand freshman Halle Hill registering a third-place finish with a time of 19: 39.14.

Junior Jessica McDowell earned a bronze medal for the Illini in the women’s 400m as she ran a time of 54.24.

The Illini then wrapped up the day with a fourth place finish in the men’s 4x200m relay as the squad of freshman Dacorey Waresenior Declan Rustayjunior Aiden Ouimet and sophomore Keegan Anderson posted a time of 1: 26.04.

The Illinois men’s and women’s track and field teams then wrapped up competition at the Drake Relays on Saturday (April 30), highlighted by a podium finish by the men’s 4x110m hurdle relay team.

Saturday’s meet started off with the 4x110m hurdles relay podium finish as freshman DeVontae Fordjunior Robert Williamssenior Bret Dannis and senior Jaden Jackson claimed silver for the Illini with a 57.77 finish.

In the women’s distance medley, senior Emma Milburnjunior Jessica McDowellfreshman Sam Poglitsch and junior Olivia Howell finished fourth, clocking in at 11: 23.51. The Illini continued their strong relay performance on the weekend as the quartet of senior Declan Rustayfreshman Dacorey Wareredshirt-junior Kashief King and freshman William Merrick finished fifth in the men’s sprint relay with a time of 3: 21.99.

Illini in the Rankings
The Illinois men were ranked at No. 9 in the most recent Outdoor USTFCCCA Midwest Regional TFR, while the women came in at No. 10.

Next Up
Following the Big Ten Indoor Championships, qualifying athletes will compete at the 2022 NCAA West Prelims on May 26-28 at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark.

For more Fighting Illini Track & Field news, stay tuned to FightingIllini.com and follow @IlliniTrackXC on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook.

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