CHAMPAIGN — While talking recently to one of her peers in the coaching profession, Tonja Buford-Bailey couldn't help but take offense.
The voice on the other end had the temerity to ask the Illinois women's track and field coach whether her freshman phenom, Ashley Spencer, was from Jamaica.
PARK RIDGE — Both of the Athlete of the Championship awards from the Big Ten Track & Field meets now reside in Champaign-Urbana.
After a breakout weekend, Ashley Spencer earned the women’s award. No surprise, she also was named Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.
MADISON, Wis. — Ashley Spencer put on a performance she won’t soon forget.
That the freshman’s record day at the Big Ten championships came with her mom in attendance — on Mother’s Day, no less — was even more special.
MADISON, Wis. — Andrew Riley has a chance to win more Big Ten track titles today. And he could get a push from his teammates.
In the 100, Riley qualified third with a time of 10.48 seconds. Two spots ahead of him stood Illini Stanley Azie, who clocked a 10.35.
OXFORD, Miss. — The 18th-ranked Illini women's tennis team got off to a strong start Friday in its NCAA first-round matchup against Rice, winning the doubles point.
But Illinois couldn't sustain the momentum in singles, losing 4-3.
The Illini (18-8) took a 1-0 lead thanks to wins from the teams of Marisa Lambropoulos/Melissa Kopinski and Chelcie Abajian/Allison Falkin.
Growing up, the heaviest clothing Andrew Riley wore was a hoodie. He would wear one in the winter evenings, when temperatures in Jamaica would drop near 60 degrees.
For the first 20 years of his life, a hoodie was all he needed — the only time he experienced true cold near his home in the hills above Kingston was when he reached his hand in the refrigerator.
EVANSTON — The Illinois men's tennis team dominated Michigan in Saturday's Big Ten semifinals, winning 4-0.
And their prize? Another match with Ohio State, the six-time defending Big Ten champions.
Top-seeded Ohio State is 31-2 and ranked third nationally. The Buckeyes own a 92-match winning streak in the Big Ten.
FRENCH LICK, Ind. — Illinois senior Nora Lucas shot a par 72 to claim a share of the lead through one round of the Big Ten women's golf tournament Friday.
Lucas led Illinois to third place, 6 strokes behind co-leaders Ohio State and Michigan State.
A six-birdie performance allowed Lucas to keep pace with Michigan State's Caroline Powers atop the leaderboard.
Northwestern scored zero points in three Big Ten Outdoor track and field championships in the early-80s, and dropped the sport in 1988. Only the ghosts of past runners, jumpers, etc., traipse around Evanston.
URBANA — Danielle Vaji has been active in the Illinois softball program longer than any athlete since the sport was implemented on the campus 13 years ago.
She's a fifth-year senior who has actually appeared in games for five different years. Her sophomore season was ended after five games by a knee injury, and Vaji was granted a medical redshirt.