Track and Field

Track and Field

Forty-nine Illini receive league recognition

CHAMPAIGN — Forty-nine Illinois athletes have been recognized as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for the 2014-15 school year, the league office announced Wednesday.

Honorees must have had a 3.7 or higher grade-point average for the academic year. A total of 779 athletes from the 14 schools were recognized by the league.

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Team Grades

We rate all 19 Illinois athletic teams from the 2014-15 school year:

Baseball (A)

Why an A: Set the bar high for future seasons with 50 wins and first NCAA regional title.

Last year’s grade: B

High point: Beating Wright State to sweep NCAA regional and reach super regional.

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Month-by-month highlights

July 2014
Tom Michael left for Eastern Illinois and the chance to run his own athletic department after two-plus decades at Illinois, first as a basketball player for Lou Henson and later as an administrator.

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15

Top Male Athletes
1. Isaiah Martinez, wrestling. Only 10 wrestlers win a national title each year. Those who go undefeated doing so are a much smaller group, which Martinez joined in March.

2. Tyler Jay, baseball. The Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and No. 6 overall draft pick of the Minnesota Twins was one of the most dominant closers in the nation this spring.

Illinois Year in Review: Stephanie Richartz, Top Female Athlete

Illinois senior pole vaulter Stephanie Richartz swept the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships and set school and conference records by clearing a personal best 14 feet, 4 3/4 inches to win the Big Ten indoor title. Richartz also finished third at both the NCAA Indoor Championships and NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Small keeps PGA dream alive

PHILADELPHIA — Ben Polland shot a 3-under-par 67 on Monday on The Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course to take a 4-stroke lead in the 48th PGA Professional National Championship.

The 24-year-old Polland is a PGA assistant professional in Manhasset, N.Y. He opened with a 4-under 68 on Sunday on the Militia Hill Course and had a 7-under 135 total.

Richartz ties for 14th in national pole vault

EUGENE, Ore. — Stephanie Richartz concluded her Illinois track and field career Sunday with a 14th-place finish in women’s pole vault at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

Richartz tied with Melissa Gergel by clearing 13 feet, 111/4 inches. Jennifer Suhr, who won the 2012 Olympic pole vault, placed first with a height of 15 feet, 93/4 inches.

Lewis-Smallwood three-peats in national discus

EUGENE, Ore. — Former Illini Gia Lewis-Smallwood captured the women’s discus title Saturday at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

It is Lewis-Smallwood’s third consecutive discus victory at the event. Her throw Saturday was 207 feet and bested runner-up Whitney Ashley by nearly 3 feet.

UI roundup: Kendziera narrowly misses finals

EUGENE, Ore. — Illinois’ David Kendziera narrowly missed qualifying for the 400-meter hurdles final, clocking 49.57 seconds Friday at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Johnny Dutch, competing unattached, had the fastest semifinal time, finishing in 48.90.

Illinois’ Dylan Lafond placed 20th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 9 minutes, 5.07 seconds.

Burge claims golf crown

LAKE FOREST — Illinois senior golfer Alex Burge, a Bloomington native, won the Chicago District Golf Association’s 96th Amateur Championship on Thursday at Knollwood Club, defeating Tee-K Kelly of Wheaton 1 up in the 36-hole championship match.