Relay team, Engnell, Morgan win at Drake
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DES MOINES, Iowa — No school has produced winners at the Drake Relays like Illinois.
Kyle Engnell and a record-setting relay team added to the total Saturday.
Engnell won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and Andrew Riley, Azeez Shogbuyi, Josh Zinzer and Stanley Azie teamed to win the 4x100 relay — and break an 18-year-old school record in the process — for a solid finish to the weekend. Illinois has 137 total titles at the Drake Relays, the most by any school.
"Our big guns are rounding into shape, and we are getting healthier, so we are peaking at the right time with Big Tens and nationals up next," UI interim coach Mike Turk said. "This was exactly the kind of springboard I was hoping for this weekend."
The relay ran 39.17 seconds to top the mark set by Scott Turner, Anthony Jones, Asa Patterson and Earl Jenkins in 1993.
"We have been waiting for a performance like this, and it was a lot of fun to watch," Turk said.
Engnell finished in 8:52.93.
"It never gets old to see our guys doing a victory lap around the stadium with their Drake champion flags," Turk said.
Riley was fourth in the 110 hurdles special invitational in 13.63, and Cody Wisslead was fourth in the 400 hurdles.
In women's action, Stephanie Morgan eclipsed a 20-year-old record to win the 1,500, clocking the fastest time in the history of the event. Morgan ran a personal-best mark of 4:15.90, which broke Iowa State's Karen Glum's mark of 4:19.54 from 1991. The time ranks as the second-fastest time in school history behind Angela Bizzarri's mark of 4:15.42.
"It was an amazing finish," UI coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. "It was really fun to watch and great to see how aggressive and competitive she can be. She had the crowd on its feet and represented Illinois well."