Track and Field
Comment: NCAA tournament team won 35 games, most since 2000
Comment: Task one: End that 14-game Big Ten losing streak
Men’s basketball: B
Comment: Inconsistent bunch proved they belonged in NCAAs
Men’s cross-country: B
Comment: Big Ten finish of fourth was program’s best in 16 years
High point: Receiving Big Ten’s only at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Low point: Losing NCAA elimination game after entering ninth inning with 3-2 lead.
Big Ten finish: T-5th
What’s next: Plenty of holes to fill in field, but starting rotation returns intact.
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TOP MALE ATHLETES
1. Justin Parr, baseball. Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-American taking sweet swing to pros.
2. Jesse Delgado, wrestling. Sophomore Big Ten champion became first Illini to win an NCAA title at 125 pounds.
3. Fred Hartville, gymnastics. Proving Big Ten vault title was no fluke, freshman repeated feat at NCAA Championships.
CHAMPAIGN — She’s already won two NCAA titles, has serious Olympic potential and is in line for a track and field payday.
But Ashley Spencer is in no rush to leave the college scene.
“I want all four years of college — I know I can’t get them back,” the Illinois junior-to-be said. “(Leaving early) is tempting sometimes late at night, but I kind of like being in Orange and Blue.”
EUGENE, Ore. — Ashley Spencer gave herself a huge early birthday present.
The Illinois sophomore — one day shy of her 20th birthday — defended her NCAA title in the 400 meters, winning by nearly half a second Friday night with a school-record time of 50.28 seconds, the best collegiate time this year.
EUGENE, Ore. — The senior led off.
The freshman finished it.
In between the junior and sophomore kept the school-record pace intact.
EUGENE, Ore. — Illinois’ Ashley Spencer, the defending outdooor champion in the 400, won her heat in 51.61 seconds and qualified for the finals with the third-best time at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday.
Despite finishing with the 12th-fastest time overall, Morolake Akinosun advanced in the 100 by taking second in her heat in 11.34.