For graduation weekend, we reached out to one athlete from every University of Illinois sport for their take on the college scene. Here's what they had to say.
CARBONDALE — Senior Kevin Johnson moved into fourth place on Illinois’ career innings-pitched list, leading the Illini to a 4-1 nonconference baseball victory against Southern Illinois on Friday.
Johnson fanned four and limited SIU to seven hits in eight scoreless innings.
“Kevin Johnson did an outstanding job today,” UI coach Dan Hartleb said.
GENEVA, Ohio — Illinois coach Tonja Buford-Bailey first heard the chatter after her team finished second at last May’s Big Ten outdoor meet.
“They said second place was not good enough, that they only wanted to win,” Buford-Bailey said. “They’ve been talking a long time. This new generation likes to talk a lot, likes to get on Twitter and say what they’re going to do.
CHAMPAIGN — Jesse Delgado knocked off top-ranked Matt McDonough, but three other Illinois wins weren’t nearly enough as No. 2 Iowa claimed a 25-12 Big Ten wrestling victory Friday night at Huff Hall.
By The News-Gazette
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Illinois pole vaulter Matthew Bane won his second title of the year Saturday, setting the fifth-highest mark in program history at the Indiana Relays track and field meet.
The Illini junior cleared a personal-best 17 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
Senior Ryan Lynn (800 meters invitational) also won an event title for Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN — Courtney Yaeger claimed the 3,000 meters in a personal-best 9 minutes, 39.04 seconds, leading Illinois’ women’s track and field team to the title Saturday at the Illini Classic. Yaeger’s time narrowly missed being one of the top 10 in school history.
CHAMPAIGN — Jocelynn Birks’ double-double helped rally the Illinois volleyball team to a 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 Big Ten victory against Michigan on Saturday night at Huff Hall.
The redshirt freshman outside hitter belted a match-high 25 kills — tying her career high — and had 16 digs.
CHAMPAIGN — Erica Lynn and Kathleen Knight each won two individual events, but Illinois lost 169-131 to Northwestern in the season-opening meet Friday at ARC Pool.
Lynn won the 100-yard and 200 breaststrokes, and Knight claimed the 100 and 200 butterflies.
In the 100 breast, Lynn was clocked in 1:05.63. In the 200 breast, she was timed in 2:21.32.
OMAHA, Neb. — The conversation took place more than a decade ago, but Jeff McGill still remembers it almost word for word.
Will Barker was coaching 12-year-old Tyler McGill at the time when he pulled Jeff aside.
"He told me Tyler was one in a million," Jeff said late Sunday night in the lobby of CenturyLink Center, site of the U.S. Olympic trials. "I said, 'What do you mean?'