Track and Field
DES MOINES, Iowa – World champion Perdita Felicien opened her outdoor season with an easy win the women''s 100-meter hurdles at Saturday''s Drake Relays.
In her first race since winning the world indoor title in the 60 hurdles, the former Illini won in 13 seconds and beat runner-up Priscilla Lopes by 10 meters.
CHAMPAIGN – They might be freshmen, but they sure aren''t acting their age.
Two weeks into their first collegiate outdoor track season, it''s clear Yvonne Mensah, Cassie Hunt and twin sisters Camille and Carlene Robinson are ahead of the curve.
Former Illinois track and field star Perdita Felicien won the 60-meter hurdles gold medal Sunday at the 2004 World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The Pickering, Ontario, native finished in 7.75 seconds to edge American sprinting legend Gail Devers, who finished second in 7.78.
Illinois sprinter Yvonne Mensah has been named Big Ten Women''s Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.
Mensah won the 60-meter hurdles at the Big Ten indoor meet last weekend at Iowa City, Iowa, setting a track record with a time of 8.32 seconds. The Surrey, British Columbia, native also placed third in the 60 and fourth in the 200.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Illinois had the right man in the right place at the right time to end the Big Ten Indoor Championships. He had the right identity, too.
The last name of Nathan Vadeboncouer, who is of Icelandic descent, translates to "go with good heart." The Illini entrusted him on the anchor leg of the 1,600-meter relay, and he went up against international star Mitch Potter without faltering.
CHAMPAIGN – Too much fun and not enough run.
That describes last year''s Illinois men''s track and field team, a group that had a barrel of laughs but finished eighth at the 2003 Big Ten indoor meet.
CHAMPAIGN – Yvonne Mensah received a double bonus when she signed with the Illinois women''s track team.
"The main reason I came here was to train with (recent UI graduate) Perdita Felicien," the freshman hurdler/sprinter from British Columbia said. "Perdita is a big hero in Canada."
CHAMPAIGN – Peter Knaus set a school record in the 35-pound weight throw to highlight Wayne Angel''s home debut as Illinois men''s track and field coach Saturday.
Illinois won 11 events to far outdistance runner-up Illinois State at the Illinois Open.
CHAMPAIGN – With a staff opening to fill, Gary Winckler began contacting colleagues and friends for recommendations on a replacement.
Among the calls the Illinois women''s track and field coach placed was to one of the greatest athletes he''d ever coached. Perhaps Tonja Buford-Bailey, with her years on the national and international circuit, would know of an available and worthy candidate.
Jenny Adams, a volunteer assistant coach for the Illinois women''s track and field team, placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles Sunday at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco.