Sunday's UI roundup: Wells claims Big Ten high jump title

Sunday's UI roundup: Wells claims Big Ten high jump title

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — What a weekend it was for Jonathan Wells.

The Illinois redshirt junior capped it off by winning the men's high jump title during the final day of the Big Ten track and field outdoor championships on Sunday at the Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex in Bloomington, Ind.

He did so in record fashion for good measure, as the Fox Lake native broke the program's 39-year-old high jump record with a clearance of 7 feet, 5 inches.

Gail Olson held the previous record of 7-31 / 2, set in 1979. Wells scored 20 of the Illini's 38 team points during the meet, thanks to a second-place finish in the long jump and seventh in 110-meter hurdles. The Illini placed 12th as a team.

"His high jump performance was amazing," UI coach Mike Turk said. ... "He was so poised and so controlled."

Racing in her final Big Ten championships, graduate student Nicole Choquette recorded her best outdoor finish of her career. The Urbana native finished fourth in the 800-meter final on Sunday at 2 minutes, 8.10 seconds as the Illini wound up 12th as a team.

In other finals on Sunday, Devin Quinn took fourth in both the 100 (10.28) and 200 (20.68). The Illini men's 400 relay team of Mo Maat, Jason Shannon, Joe Haight and Quinn was third (39.40).

In baseball

Illini drop finale. Illinois kept its chances of a sweep over Michigan alive with a two-run ninth inning. But the Wolverines, who slipped out of first place in the Big Ten standings after losing the weekend's first two games, salvaged the series with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, handing the Illini a 5-4 defeat on Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Jack Yalowitz's two-run single with two outs in the ninth tied the game at 4, but Illinois (29-17, 13-8 Big Ten) was only able to take two of three games, thanks to extra-inning heroics from Michigan (32-16, 15-5).

The Illini committed three errors, leading to four unearned runs in the loss.

In softball

UI left out. The Illini's bid for a historic third consecutive berth into the NCAA Tournament didn't come to fruition.

The Illini were left out of a softball regional by the selection committee, which announced the field of 64 during a nationally-televised selection show on Sunday night.

Illinois (37-18) would have required an at-large bid, which Tyra Perry's team received in each of the previous two seasons, but an RPI of 58, coupled with an early exit at the Big Ten tournament, hampered the Illini's chances. Illinois lost 2-1 to Indiana on Friday night during the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.