DES MOINES, Iowa — Illinois freshman Morolake Akinosun outran SEC Outdoor Freshman of the Year Jennifer Madu to capture the women’s 100-meter title Thursday at the USA Junior Track and Field Championships.
After posting the fastest qualifying time (11.66 seconds) in the preliminary round, Akinosun sprinted to an 11.64 in the finals. Texas A&M’s Madu was second in 11.67.
With the win, the Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year qualified for the Pan American Junior Championships.
“Morolake made us very proud today,” Illini coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. “To win a national title on any level is outstanding. She competed very well and it shows that she is an extremely good competitor. There was a minus-4.4 headwind and she didn’t let it discourage her because she really wanted the win.”
Illini freshman Mitch Mammoser tied for eighth in the junior men’s pole vault by clearing 15 feet, 11 inches.
In the Senior Championships, Illini sophomore Ashley Spencer advanced to the semifinals of the women's 400 meters. The two-time reigning NCAA champion moved on after placing seventh in the prelims in 52.01, the fastest time by a collegian.
UI freshman Cameron Viney also reached the semis in the senior men’s 400 hurdles. Viney ran his second-fastest time of the season, 51.75, to place 14th in the preliminaries.
Illini senior Graham Morris finished 46th in the prelims of the senior men’s 1,500 in 3:57.24.