Track and Field
CHAMPAIGN – Wendel McRaven, a five-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, is joining the Illinois men''s track and field staff.
McRaven''s hiring was announced Thursday by Illini head coach Wayne Angel. McRaven will coach the distance corps in track and serve as head coach of the UI men''s cross-country team.
In 1996, before I became a member of the Illini women''s track team, I competed in the 1996 World Junior Championships. At Illinois, my highlights included a fifth-place finish in the mile at the NCAA indoors in 2000. The previous year I was ninth in the 800 meters at the national indoor meet.
The pride of Danville track and field, I also did myself proud as an Illini. My name remains a fixture in the record books: I set school marks in the 100 and 200 meters in 1994 that still stand. I also still own Big Ten Championships records in the 100 (10.1 seconds) and the indoor 55 (6.21). I made an immediate impact, earned the Big Ten Outdoor Freshman of the Year award in 1991. Three years later, I was the Big Ten Outdoor Athlete of the Year. As a senior, I placed fifth in the 55 at the NCAA indoor meet.
I own the top three freshman times in the 5,000 meters in UI cross-country history. My best showing was a 17:18 at the 1986 Big Ten Championships, a time that stands ninth on the all-time list. The next year, I posted the second- and third-best sophomore times in school history.
I have the distinction of owning the second-longest school record in women''s track and field. Marianne Dickerson''s 1982 record in the 10,000 meters is the oldest, but mine come next: In 1984, I established outdoor records in the 1,500 meters and the 3,000. That year I also placed eighth in the 3,000 at the NCAA Outdoors Championships.
I am the premier shot putter in Illini history. I hold school records for the event, both outdoors and indoors. I also was among the best in the nation in the early 1980s. In 1982, I was the NCAA indoor champion with a heave of 67 feet, 7 inches. I also was the outdoor NCAA runner-up in 1981 and ''82, and placed third in the national indoor meet in 1981. My resume includes four Big Ten shot put crowns and one conference discus title. I still hold the Big Ten indoor meet record for the shot put: 69-2, set in 1982.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Illinois'' Jaime Turilli failed to match her qualifying effort in Saturday''s finals of the 5,000 meters, finishing 15th at the NCAA track and field championships.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Illinois'' Cassie Hunt finally broke 10 minutes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and what a time to do it.
Hunt finished second in 9 minutes, 59.82 seconds. The woman Hunt beat at the regional meet, Butler''s Victoria Mitchell, won the NCAA title in 9:54.32.
I competed in the 2004 Olympics for Puerto Rico in the 400-meter hurdles. In 1998, I represented the Illini with a second-place finish in the 400 hurdles at the NCAA Championships, one year after I had taken ninth in the same event. Only Tonya Williams and Tonja Buford-Bailey have posted better times than me for the Illini.
CHAMPAIGN – Before arriving on Illinois'' campus, Cassie Hunt was no stranger to multitasking sports.
As a high school senior, the Roachdale, Ind., native won a bronze medal in the Summer Biathlon Junior World Championships – an eclectic event that mixes distance running with rifle marksmanship.