Track teams win home meet
CHAMPAIGN — Brandon Stryganek and David Kendziera each won two events to lead the Illinois men’s track and field team to the title of the Illini Classic at the UI Armory.
The Illini had 13 top-three finishers and scored 227.50 points to win the seven-team meet by 125 points.
“We had an outstanding day today,” Illinois coach Mike Turk said. “The thing that was really encouraging were the performances we had without three of our big scorers. Matt Bane, Vanier Joseph, and Stephon Pamilton are all Big Ten champions, but we held them out today.
“To see us come through with the performances we had and to see some young guys really step up was a great thing. It’s exactly what we needed to see in a meet like this. ... We’ve got some work to do in a few areas, but I think overall we made great contributions across the board.”
Stryganek led a 1-2-3 Illini finish in the 60 meters with a 6.79-second performance. Illinois had four of the top six finishers in the 200, with winner Stryganek clocking a 21.53.
Kendziera ran a 8.04 in the 60 hurdles to lead a 1-2-4 Illinois finish. The freshman from Mount Prospect also won the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 61/2 inches
DJ Zahn (48.99) outdueled Illini teammate Kenneth Allen (49.09) to win the 400.
Branden Tanthavong of Illinois earned the triple jump victory with a leap of 47 feet, 113/4 inches.
The Illini 1,600 relay won in 3:18.78.
Centennial graduate Luke Vaughn, a freshman at Memphis, captured the shot put with a 54-21/2 heave.
In women’s track & field:
Strong start for Illini. The host team won six events at the Illini Classic at the UI Armory, winning the 10-team event.
Kymbriona Taylor led a 1-4-5 finish by Illinois in the 60 meters with a 7.60-second clocking. Asia Thomas paced a 1-3-4 finish by the Illini in the 400 in 56.68.
Ahlivia Spencer placed first in the 600 in 1:32.43. Alyssa Schneider won the mile in 4:47.46, with two teammates following in third and fourth.
Kawanna Brooks captured the 60 hurdles in 8.61, just ahead of teammate Jesica Ejesieme (8.68).
Illinois also won the 1,600 relay in 3:47.16.
In women’s gymnastics:
Illini roll. The Illini won every event and had the top three scorers in the all-around, rolling to victory in a three-team meet at Huff Hall.
Illinois scored 196.175 to easily outdistance Centenary (186.650) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire (185.975) at Huff Hall.
Giana O’Connor, who finished in the top three in three events, claimed the all-around with 39.250 points. Sunny Kato was a two-event winner for Illinois. The junior placed first in uneven parallel bars and shared first place with teammate Elizabeth McNabb in balance beam.
In men’s tennis:
Hiltzik sweeps day. Jared Hiltzik won singles and doubles matches against Florida opponents on the second day of the Illini Open at Fort Myers, Fla. The Illini sophomore swept Gordon Watson 6-4, 6-4 before combining with Alex Jesse on a 6-3 doubles victory against Diego Hidalgo and Spencer Newman.
In women’s swimming:
Illini go 0-3. The Illini won one event and went 0-3 in a triple dual at Iowa City, Iowa.
Illinois lost to the host Hawkeyes 198-101, to Missouri 154-145, and to Indiana 193-103.
Illini senior Courtney Pope finished first in the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minutes, 51.81 seconds. Junior Alison Meng placed second in the 100 backstroke in 55.50.
The UI 400 freestyle relay team of Meng, Pope, Jessi Holz and Megan Marchuk turned in a runner-up performance in 3:27.36.